The Gottman Institute is seeking 40 couples to participate in a Gottman Method Marathon Therapy study. There are limited spots available. Marathon Couples Therapy is a dynamic alternative to traditional weekly therapy sessions.

You will be able to work with a skilled, compassionate Certified Gottman Therapist either online via HIPAA compliant telehealth or in-person. Your participation in this study will not only help your relationship, it will also help us understand what couples are experiencing today and what helps couples cultivate a healthier relationship in couples therapy.

About Gottman Method Marathon Therapy

Marathon Couples Therapy is 18-20 hours of therapy offered for three to four consecutive days.  You will have time to talk in depth about the struggles and challenges of the relationship that simply cannot happen in the traditional style of couples therapy. There is time to process past injuries that have never healed, and time to understand how these injuries have impacted the relationship. There is time to learn and practice new communication skills to help you have more productive conversations. There’s time to rebuild.

The therapist will provide an environment of safety for both partners. You will be treated with dignity and respect, without judgment, throughout the process. Couples who have experienced this form of therapy usually describe it as life-changing and transformative.

Marathon Couples Therapy offers some practical benefits as well. It’s a good fit for couples who want intensive therapy but don’t live in the vicinity of a Certified Gottman Therapist. It’s also a good fit for couples whose schedules do not allow for them to go to weekly therapy sessions. And finally, it’s a great fit for couples who need to get help immediately.

It is important, however, that you also understand the risks involved. Despite the “nuts and bolts” approach of this method, the Marathon Couples Therapy format may move you more quickly and intensely into the areas of difficulty to be addressed. Therefore, you and/or your partner may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, loneliness, and helplessness. Your therapy may also involve recalling unpleasant aspects of your history together and/or individually. This is done to heal injuries and strengthen the relationship.

Upon completion of the Marathon Sessions, you will complete seven additional 90-minute follow-up sessions spaced out every three to four weeks. This supports the relationship in continuing to utilize the skills learned in Marathon Therapy and helping the changes made, last.

A Roadmap of Gottman Method Marathon Couples Therapy

After you’ve applied for the study, we will schedule a screening with you to ensure eligibility. Following that, we will match you with a Certified Gottman Therapist with whom you will be able to have a free 20-30 minute consultation. The consultation would allow you the opportunity to assure a good fit with the therapist prior to your investment in your relationship.  If you decide to move forward, you will go through the following steps:

Prior to the Marathon

  1. Pre-Therapy Questionnaire: Complete an extensive questionnaire on your relationship at least seven days prior to your first Marathon Session. 

Marathon Day 1: 

  1. Assessment Phase: Complete an in-depth Gottman assessment of your relationship that includes exploring your relationships history, your individual histories, and a scientific evaluation of your relationship based on the original Gottman Love Lab assessment using a platform called Gottman Connect. Our comprehensive relationship assessment will pinpoint the areas in which you can achieve the greatest growth so you can move forward to a place of strength, reconnection, and hope.

Marathon Day 1-3:

  1. Treatment Phase: The Certified Gottman Therapist will provide specific interventions to support your relationship in moving forward. The treatment phase starts on the second half of day 1 through day 3. 

Post Marathon Questionnaire:

  1. Post-Therapy Questionnaire: Complete an extensive questionnaire on your relationship at maximum seven days after your last Marathon session. You will also complete a brief questionnaire about your experience in therapy that the therapist will not see. 

Follow-Up Sessions: 

  1. Relapse Prevention: You will complete seven 90-minute follow-up sessions after Marathon Therapy to help solidify the changes made in Marathon. These 90-minute follow-up sessions spaced out every three to four weeks. You and your partner will also receive free access to The Gottman Relationship Builder, a $520 value, to use between sessions to support you in utilizing the skills learned in session at home. 

Follow-Up Questionnaire: 

  1. Post-Follow-Up: Complete an extensive questionnaire on your relationship before the seventh session. This assessment will be used to show you how your relationship has changed from the start of Marathon Therapy to now. The Certified Gottman Therapist will also highlight strengths and continued opportunities as you move into the 6-month evaluation. 

Six-Month Follow-up:

  1. Six months after you completed your last 90-minute session, you will be sent your final questionnaire for the study. This will need to be completed within two weeks and you will schedule a final session with your Certified Gottman Therapist so they can highlight how changes have stayed and offer any final guidance as you finish the study.

The Marathon Study: Cost and Compensation for Your Participation

Cost for Your Participation: While all of the studies Dr. Gottman did during his tenure as a professor were funded with federal grants, funding for research on couple relationships is not currently available. Despite this, we still believe work needs to be done. As part of your participation in this study, we are asking you to pay the Certified Gottman Therapist session fees. We wish we could provide treatment to couples in our studies at no cost and pay the therapists providing these services, we simply don’t have the funds to do so.

You Pay:

  • CGT session fees (varies per Certified Gottman Therapist). Most of the Certified Gottman Therapists in the Marathon Study have offered reduced rates for their Marathon sessions to support research couples.

We Provide (Compensation Valued at $1,570):

  • Assessment questionnaires at no charge ($450 value). The Gottman Institute does provide some help to couples and therapists by providing all assessment questionnaires at no charge. As compensation, couples will meet with a Certified Gottman Therapist and receive access to the new Gottman Connect assessment and an interpretation of the results that your therapist will go over with you.
  • Comprehensive relationship assessment ($600 value). Couples that participate in Marathon Couples Therapy Study receive a scientific evaluation of their relationship based on the original Gottman Love Lab assessment, using a platform called Gottman Connect. Our comprehensive relationship assessment will pinpoint the areas in which you can achieve the greatest growth so you can move forward to a place of strength, reconnection, and hope.
  • Gottman Relationship Builder ($520 value). You will receive a free copy of The Gottman Relationship Builder to use between sessions to support you in utilizing the skills learned in session at home.

Do you qualify for the study?

  • Couples must be presenting for relationship challenges
  • Couples must be married or in a committed relationship
  • Couples have not worked with a Certified Gottman Therapist before
  • Couples must not be actively participating in couples therapy with another therapist at the time of applying
  • Couples and/or a partner must not be struggling with an active addition (Substance or sexual). 
  • No current ongoing affairs.
  • Each individual must not be attending their own individual therapy or group counseling. If you are, you must be willing to cease services prior to starting to work with your couples therapist for the duration of your participation in the study.  

In deciding to participate in this study, you agree to the following:

  • In light of COVID-19 and social distancing, you may be paired with a Certified Gottman Therapist that is offering teletherapy. In-person therapy services will depend on location and therapist availability. You can also choose to travel to a Certified Gottman Therapist for the Marathon sessions. If you choose to do so, you will be responsible for traveling expenses. 
  • You agree to repeat Gottman Connect assessment questionnaires at 4 time points during the study. These assessments will be provided to you at no additional cost.
  • At the end of the Marathon Treatment and the seven sessions, you will be asked to fill out a quick (5 minute) survey about your experience in therapy that only the research team will see.

Do you live in a qualifying location?

Couples can travel to see a therapist located in one of the following cities. Couples may also opt to see a therapist for telehealth services within the states listed. This works for couples who want to do so for health reasons or for couples who live farther from the city the therapist is located in. 

*There are telehealth options available.

Qualifying locations are predetermined by the therapist license. 

United States
California*Alameda, San Diego, Santa Rose, Torrance
Maryland*Gaithersburg, Lutherville
Nevada*Las Vegas
New Jersey*Springfield
New York*
Oregon*Happy Valley
Texas*Austin, Kingwood
Virginia*Charlottesville, McLean
Washington*Bellingham, Edmonds, Seattle
Washington DC*
Australia*Adelaide (South Australia)
Canada*Calgary (Alberta)
China*Hong Kong