The Gottman Method of Couple Therapy and its underlying Sound Relationship House Theory differs from the therapies and theories studied in this course thus far in that it appears to incorporate multiple aspects of each theory to gain an understanding of how individuals process and respond to emotion. According to Gottman & Gottman, (2000-2010), this method is an affective couple therapy, behavioral couple therapy, existentially-based couple therapy, cognitive couple therapy, narrative therapy, systemic could therapy and psychodynamic couple therapy.
Gottman’s Method of Couple Therapy focuses on helping the couple find shared meaning and enhance friendships. The seven parts of the Sound Relationship House Theory which promotes healthy relationships between couples includes building love maps, sharing fondness and admiration, turning towards your loved one rather than away from them, taking a positive perspective, managing conflict, making life dreams and aspirations come to fruition and create shared meaning to continue to grow and build the relationship on. This learner would integrate the principle of reducing the four horsemen into my main theoretical orientation for couples in my future practice.
Using this intervention would “heighten partners’ awareness of the four best predictors of relationship meltdown, the Four Horseman and their antidotes, the therapist can also gentle down conflict interaction” (Gurman, Lebow & Snyder, pp. 138, 2015). If a couple can identify the top four things that are most likely to dissolve their relationship or marriage, then they are more inclined to create positive behaviors to stop the four horsemen from happening and in turn, save their relationship from fading away. Some might consider the Four Horseman to be huge relationship impactors and they include criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling each of which can be detrimental to all relationships.
Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., & Snyder, D. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Chapter 2, “Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy”
Chapter 5, “Gottman Method Couple Therapy”
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