262 Commercial Street, North Sydney, NS B2A 1B8

Older couple walking the beach with their arm around each other

Gottman Method Couples Therapy: Empowering Couples to Build Lasting Love

Relationships are an integral part of our lives, and we all desire healthy, loving, and long-lasting connections with our partners. Maintaining a healthy and loving relationship is a vital aspect of leading a happy life. However, it is not always easy to maintain a stable relationship, as communication issues, conflict, infidelity, or lack of intimacy can arise and cause distress and pain. This is where the Gottman Method comes in – an evidence-based approach to helping couples improve their relationships and strengthen their connections.
The Gottman Method is designed to help couples build a healthy and sustainable relationship. In this blog post, we will explore what the Gottman Method is, what it is used for, who benefits from it, and how long the therapy typically lasts.

What is the Gottman Method?

The Gottman Method was developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. The approach is built on over 40 years of research, and it focuses on helping couples develop and maintain healthy relationships. The Gottman Method is based on three core components: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. These three components are essential to building a strong relationship that can withstand the ups and downs of life. Let’s take a closer look at each component.

1. Friendship

This component involves building a strong friendship with your partner. It is based on the idea that a strong friendship is the foundation of a healthy relationship. In the Gottman Method, couples are encouraged to spend quality time together, share their thoughts and feelings with each other, and engage in activities that they both enjoy. This component also involves building positive communication skills and learning to appreciate and support each other.

2. Conflict Management

Conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, but how couples manage conflict can make all the difference. The Gottman Method teaches couples how to manage conflict in a healthy and productive way. Couples learn how to communicate effectively, identify and express their needs and emotions, and work together to find solutions to problems. The goal is not to avoid conflict, but to learn how to handle it in a way that strengthens the relationship.

3. Creation of Shared Meaning

This component involves creating a shared vision and purpose for the relationship. Couples are encouraged to discuss their values, beliefs, and goals for the future, and to work together to create a shared vision for their lives. This component also involves building a strong emotional connection and deepening intimacy.

What is the Gottman Method used for?

The Gottman Method is used to help couples address a wide range of issues, such as communication problems, trust issues, intimacy problems, and infidelity. The method is also helpful for couples who are struggling with parenting or co-parenting issues, as well as those who are considering separation or divorce. The Gottman Method can also be used as a preventive measure to help couples build a strong foundation and avoid future problems.

Who benefits from the Gottman Method?

The Gottman Method is beneficial for any couple who is experiencing relationship difficulties. It is particularly effective for couples who are committed to working on their relationship and are willing to make changes. The approach is also beneficial for couples who have experienced trauma or stressful events that have impacted their relationship. The Gottman Method is also suitable for couples who are considering marriage/common-law partnerships, as it helps them establish a strong foundation for their relationship.

How long does the Gottman Method take?

The length of the Gottman Method therapy varies depending on the specific needs and circumstances of each couple. Typically, therapy lasts between 12 and 24 sessions. During the first few sessions, the therapist will conduct an assessment to gain an understanding of the couple’s relationship and identify areas that need improvement. After the assessment, the therapist will work with the couple to develop a treatment plan and provide them with tools and strategies to help them improve their relationship.


The Gottman Method is an effective approach to couple therapy that has helped countless couples strengthen their relationship. It is based on extensive research and emphasizes the importance of building a strong foundation of friendship, managing conflict, and creating a shared sense of meaning in a relationship. Whether you are just starting out in a relationship or have been together for many years, the Gottman Method can help you strengthen your connection and build a deeper and more satisfying relationship.

At the East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic, the Gottman Method is incorporated in the couple therapy provided by Jennifer MacDonald, BA, BEd, MEd (Counselling) and David MacKeigan, MSW RSW.

David MacKeigan, Registered Social Worker, East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic, North Sydney

About The Author

David MacKeigan, MSW, RSW, is a Clinical Social Worker at the East Coast Psychotherapy & Trauma Clinic. He supports couples and individuals (19+) using a collaborative approach.