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Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Gottman Method Couples Therapy (GMCT) is based on Drs. John and Julie Gottman’s research that began in the 1970s and continues to this day.  They are the leading experts on couple’s work and from this research developed nine components of healthy relationships known as The Sound Relationship House Theory.  From this theory they have created a method of therapy that emphasizes a nuts-and-bolts approach to improving relationships.


Keith Valerius, MA, LPC is a Level 3 Gottman Method Couple's Therapist who provides Gottman based couples therapy as well as periodic Gottman Method Workshops.  The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that includes a thorough assessment of the couple's relationship and integrates research-based interventions based on the Sound Relationship House and designed to strengthen relationships in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning.

The assessment involves four sessions:  

  • Session 1: Conjoint session to explores areas of concern, talk about the history of your relationship, and goals for treatment.  

  • Sessions 2 & 3: Individual sessions to learn your personal histories and to give you each an opportunity to further share your relational concerns.  Couples also complete the Relationship Checkup which is an on-line questionnaire assessment.

  • Session 4:  Conjoint session to collaboratively provide detailed feedback on your relationship and recommendations for therapy.

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The Sound Relationship House


Build Love Maps
How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?

Share Fondness and Admiration
The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)

Turn Towards Instead of Away
State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.

The Positive Perspective
The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.

Manage Conflict
We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.

Make Life Dreams Come True
Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.

Create Shared Meaning
Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.

This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “my partner has my back and is there for me.”

This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.

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