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The Gottman Method


The Gottman Method for Couples Therapy was developed by world-renowned psychologists Julie and John Gottman. Based on 40+ years of clinical experience and intensive research on relationships, the Gottman method is an evidence-based and scientifically sound therapy that provides couples with specific tools to help them build the foundation for a lasting relationship. In Gottman Couples Therapy we focus on emotion, skill-building for managing conflict, developing new skills for enhancing friendship, and creating a system of shared meaning.

Studies that follow couples over time show that there are key differences that exist between the “masters” and the “disasters” of relationships. For instance, the disasters of relationships exhibit four reliable interaction patterns of escalating negativity, including criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. These dysfunctional patterns are appropriately titled the ‘Four Horseman of the Apocalypse’, as when found together they are highly predictive of divorce, separation and continued unhappiness in couples. Over the course of Gottman couples therapy, we work to break the cycle of negativity by addressing each of the Four Horsemen and replacing them with their respective antidote.

Beginning with a comprehensive and detailed assessment, the first stage of Gottman Couples Therapy is to accurately identify the strengths and challenges of the relationship. Using this new-found understanding, we then establish goals for therapy and introduce exercises designed to strengthen any areas of weakness. Guided by the Sound Relationship House model, the interventions used in Gottman couples therapy address the 9 key “levels” of healthy relationships:

  • Building love maps
  • Sharing fondness and admiration
  • Turning towards your partner
  • Having a positive perspective
  • Managing conflict
  • Making life dreams come true
  • Creating shared meaning
  • Having trust
  • Commitment

*Research on the effectiveness of Gottman couples therapy reveals that it can significantly improve marital satisfaction and relationship intimacy, bringing about enduring positive change to couples (Davoodvandi et al., 2018). The Gottman Method has also been shown to be effective for same-sex couples (Garanzini et al., 2017).

Therapists who specialize in the Gottman Method:

K Edmonton Psychologist

Kristen Brown

MC Edmonton Psychologist

Mikyla Cleary

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Julie DeRose

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Darien Zwicker

Hayley Bailey

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Karl Merritt

Samantha Naidu

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Jasdeep Sadhra

Stephanie Charbonneau

Haley Burchett




Davoodvandi, M., & Shokouh Navabi Nejad, V. F. (2018). Examining the effectiveness of gottman couple therapy on improving marital adjustment and couples' intimacy. Iranian journal of psychiatry13(2), 135.

Gottman, J. M., & Gottman, J. S. (2015). Gottman couple therapy. In A. S. Gurman, J. L. Lebow, & D. K. Snyder (Eds.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (p. 129–157). The Guilford Press.

Garanzini, S., Yee, A., Gottman, J., Gottman, J., Cole, C., Preciado, M., & Jasculca, C. (2017). Results of Gottman method couples therapy with gay and lesbian couples. Journal of marital and family therapy43(4), 674-684.


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