The Gottman Method

The Gottman Method

The Gottman Method, developed by psychologists John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman, is based on decades of research studying thousands of couples. 

The Gottman Method Therapy in Metairie, LA

The Gottman Method

Every couple argues sometimes. John Gottman studied the traits of those couples who stayed together verses those who ultimately divorced. He and his colleagues were able to distill down the core features of positive and negative interactions that ultimately led to a couple parting ways or staying together. 

The Gottman Method in Metairie, LA

More About The Gottman Method

Gottman found that couples who stayed together exhibited on average five positive interactions for every one negative interaction that they had. He also noticed four traits of couples who ultimately broke up, which he named the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”:

  • Criticism
  • Defensiveness
  • Contempt
  • Stonewalling, or icy withdrawal


While simultaneously trying to avoid “Four Horsemen”-type behaviors, it is important for couples to engage in the following:

  • Get to know one another’s inner psychological worlds, including triggers, and hopes and dreams
  • Openly express respect and admiration for each other
  • Get to know one another’s signs and signals for unmet needs, and do your best to respond accordingly
  • Learn to manage inevitable conflict by naming and validating each other’s feelings, working toward constructive resolution and compromise, and using self-soothing techniques or time-out’s if tensions rise too high
We offer compassionate care, meeting each client exactly where he/she is, while simultaneously providing direct feedback and encouraging results-focused, action-oriented, meaningful change to leave clients feeling empowered, confident, and more certain in their day-to-day life experiences and relationships. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions and answers we receive regarding The Gottman Method. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us by calling (504) 315‑2420.

The Gottman Method is an evidence-based approach to couples therapy developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. It focuses on improving the quality of relationships by strengthening communication, increasing friendship and intimacy, and effectively managing conflict. Unlike some other therapeutic approaches, the Gottman Method incorporates extensive research and observation of real couples to identify specific behaviors and patterns that either promote or undermine relationship satisfaction.

The Gottman Method utilizes a variety of techniques and interventions to help couples improve their relationship. These may include teaching effective communication skills, fostering emotional connection and intimacy, enhancing friendship and shared meaning, and providing tools to manage conflict constructively. The therapy often involves identifying negative patterns, such as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling), and replacing them with healthier alternatives.

While the Gottman Method is primarily designed for couples therapy, some aspects of the approach can be adapted for use in individual therapy. For example, individuals can learn and apply communication skills, self-soothing techniques, and strategies to manage their emotions effectively. However, the core principles of the Gottman Method, such as building a strong friendship and managing conflict as a couple, may not be directly applicable in individual therapy.

Yes, the Gottman Method has been shown to be effective in helping couples overcome relationship challenges and improve relationship satisfaction. The approach is grounded in decades of research and has been extensively studied. Studies have demonstrated that couples who receive therapy based on the Gottman Method show significant improvements in relationship quality, communication, and conflict resolution skills. Additionally, the method emphasizes ongoing maintenance and relationship-building strategies to ensure long-term success.

Since the only person you can control is yourself, you can always start by learning more about yourself and how you might be unknowingly contributing to your relationship distress. You can eventually apply what you learn to your relationship interactions, leading by example, hopefully increasing the odds that your partner will follow suit.