Couples Therapy: The Gottman Method

Couples Therapy: The Gottman Method

Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a research-based approach designed to help couples strengthen their relationships. It focuses on improving communication, increasing intimacy, and resolving conflicts. The therapy is grounded in the "Sound Relationship House Theory," which outlines the components of a healthy relationship. Through assessment, skill-building, and ongoing support, couples learn how to manage conflicts constructively, build friendship and intimacy, and maintain a strong, lasting partnership.

Understanding Gottman Method Couples Therapy at Sentience Counselling Services

At Sentience Counselling Services, we offer evidence-based couples therapy. Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a research-based approach developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. It aims to help couples build stronger, more fulfilling relationships by improving communication, increasing intimacy, and resolving conflicts. Here's an overview of Gottman Couples Therapy:

  1. Assessment: The therapy often begins with an assessment to understand the couple's relationship dynamics, strengths, and areas needing improvement. The Gottman Relationship Checkup is a popular tool used for this purpose.

  2. The Sound Relationship House: The therapy is based on the "Sound Relationship House Theory," which describes the components of a healthy relationship. These include trust, commitment, friendship, conflict management, and shared meaning.

  3. Communication Skills: Gottman Therapy teaches couples effective communication skills, such as active listening, expressing needs, and responding empathetically. These skills help couples navigate conflicts more constructively.

  4. Conflict Management: Couples learn how to manage conflicts in a way that is respectful and productive. This includes understanding each other's perspectives, finding common ground, and avoiding destructive behaviors like criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (known as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse").

  5. Building Friendship and Intimacy: The therapy emphasizes the importance of building friendship and intimacy in a relationship. Couples are encouraged to spend quality time together, share experiences, and express appreciation and affection.

  6. Emotional Regulation: Couples learn how to regulate their emotions and manage stress effectively. This helps prevent emotional outbursts and allows for more thoughtful interactions.

  7. Homework Assignments: Couples are often given homework assignments to practice the skills learned in therapy and apply them to real-life situations.

  8. Ongoing Support: The therapy provides ongoing support and guidance to help couples maintain progress and address any new challenges that may arise.

Overall, Gottman Method Couples Therapy provides couples with practical tools and strategies to improve their relationship, enhance intimacy, and build a strong foundation for a lasting partnership.

Land Acknowledgment: Recognizing and Honoring Treaty 7 and Metis Nation in Southern Alberta

Sentience Counselling Services, located in the heart of Southern Alberta, both acknowledges and pays tribute to the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprised of the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Goodstoney First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to the Metis Nation of Alberta (Districts 5 and 6).

What is the Gottman Method & Who Might Benefit from Couples Therapy?

What is it?

Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a research-based approach aimed at helping couples strengthen their relationships. It focuses on improving communication, increasing intimacy, and resolving conflicts. The therapy is structured and includes an assessment phase to understand the couple's dynamics and areas needing improvement.

Through the therapy, couples learn effective communication skills, conflict management strategies, and ways to enhance friendship and intimacy. Homework assignments are often given to practice these skills outside of therapy sessions. Ongoing support is provided to help couples maintain progress and address new challenges.

Who is it for?

Couples therapy is a place of hope and healing, offering support for couples facing a variety of challenges in their relationship. It's a space where you can work through difficulties and rediscover the deep connection and love that brought you together. Whether you're struggling with communication, intimacy, trust, or navigating life's transitions, therapy provides a path toward greater understanding, closeness, and lasting happiness together.

What Does Therapy Look Like at Sentience Counselling?

Sentience Counselling Services offers a transformative journey towards healing and personal growth. With a commitment to individualized support, the counselling process is designed to address your unique needs. Begin your path to emotional well-being by scheduling a free 20-minute consultation and discover the tailored guidance that Sentience Counselling provides on your journey to self-discovery and healing.

Contact us by email or phone to schedule your free 20 minute consultation.
Contact us by email or phone to schedule your free 20 minute consultation.
Book your initial appointment for consent and intake assessment 
Book your initial appointment for consent and intake assessment 
Book your initial therapy session
Book your initial therapy session
Therapy Sessions with regular milestone checkins
Therapy Sessions with regular milestone checkins

Discover Our Range of Psychological Services

Internal Family Systems Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Recommended Self-Help Workbooks



Conquer Burnout: Strategies to Fight Fatigue, Stress and Job Dissatisfaction

Burnout – it's more than just a buzzword; it's a debilitating state linked to chronic workplace stress. In the modern, fast-paced work environment, it's no surprise that 'Occupational Burnout' is becoming a rapidly escalating mental health crisis. Do you consta

Building Effective Co-Parenting Relationships: 5 Key Qualities for Your Child's Success

Navigating the turbulence of divorce comes with its unique set of challenges, and co-parenting is undeniably one of them. A successful co-parenting relationship doesn't happen overnight. It requires mutual respect, patience, and continuous communication. Children benefit if parents dis

Boost Your Mental Health with Gratitude Journaling: A Path to Emotional Wellness & Personal Growth

As an individual who specializes in mental health, I'm always excited to share the information and resources that can change lives for the better. Today, I want to talk about a tool that is simple yet remarkably effective – the Gratitude Journal.  Research is consistently

Couples Therapy FAQ's

Navigating the complexities of relationships can be challenging, and sometimes couples find themselves facing common misconceptions about therapy. Check out below where we debunk seven myths surrounding couples therapy, shedding light on its real value and benefits.

  1. Couples therapy is only for couples on the brink of divorce: Actually, couples therapy is helpful for couples at any stage of their relationship. It's not just about crisis management but also about enhancing communication, deepening connections, and fostering growth.

  2. Therapy is only necessary when there is a serious problem: While therapy can certainly address serious issues, it's also valuable for couples who simply want to strengthen their bond and navigate life's challenges more effectively.

  3. Therapy is only for couples who can't solve their own problems: Seeking therapy is a courageous step that shows a commitment to the relationship. It's about gaining new perspectives, learning healthier patterns, and fostering a more fulfilling connection.

  4. Therapy is one-size-fits-all: Every couple is unique, and therapy is tailored to meet their specific needs and goals. Therapists work collaboratively with couples to find the approaches and strategies that resonate best with them.

  5. Therapy is only about talking: While communication is a key focus, therapy also involves learning and practicing new skills. It's about creating lasting change by applying these skills in real-life situations.

  6. Therapy is a quick fix: Building a strong relationship takes time and effort. Therapy provides the tools and guidance, but it's the commitment to applying these tools consistently that leads to lasting transformation.

  7. Therapy is only for couples who want to stay together: While many couples seek therapy to strengthen their bond, therapy also supports couples who decide to part ways. It helps them navigate the process with respect, understanding, and a focus on healthy transitions.

The debate about whether relationships should "take work" is a nuanced one, often centering around differing perspectives on what constitutes healthy effort in a relationship.

On one side, proponents argue that all relationships require effort and compromise. They believe that challenges are natural and can be opportunities for growth, deepening understanding, and strengthening bonds. This view emphasizes the importance of communication, empathy, and active engagement in maintaining a healthy relationship.

On the other side, some argue against the notion of relationships as "work," suggesting that this framing can be counterproductive. They believe that relationships should be more about mutual enjoyment, support, and ease, rather than a constant struggle or effort. This perspective often emphasizes the importance of compatibility, shared values, and natural chemistry in fostering a fulfilling relationship.

Ultimately, the debate highlights the complexity of relationships and the diverse ways in which people experience and approach them. While effort and commitment are often necessary for a healthy relationship, the key lies in finding a balance that feels authentic and sustainable for both partners. For folks in long-term relationships, over time, life inevitably brings changes and challenges that necessitate adaptability and effort to navigate. Navigating these changes, and finding a balance that feels right for both partners, might involve acknowledging and addressing challenges, while also nurturing the aspects of the relationship that bring joy and fulfillment.

Counselling can help couples navigate the complexities of their relationship and find a balance that feels authentic and sustainable. Here's how counselling can help achieve that:

  1. Improving Communication: Counselling can teach couples effective communication skills, helping them constructively express their needs and emotions. This can reduce misunderstandings and conflicts, fostering a deeper understanding between partners.

  2. Identifying Patterns: Counselling can help couples identify and understand negative patterns or dynamics in their relationship. By recognizing these patterns, couples can work together to change them and develop healthier ways of relating to each other.

  3. Building Empathy: Counselling can help couples develop empathy for each other's experiences and perspectives. This can foster a sense of closeness and connection, even during challenging times.

  4. Setting Boundaries: Counselling can help couples establish and maintain healthy boundaries in their relationship. This can help create a sense of safety and respect between partners.

  5. Addressing Past Wounds: Counselling can provide a safe space for couples to address past hurts or traumas that may be affecting their relationship. By working through these issues together, couples can heal and move forward.

  6. Creating Shared Goals: Counselling can help couples identify and work towards shared goals and values. This can create a sense of purpose and direction in the relationship, fostering a deeper connection.

  7. Providing Support: Counselling provides a supportive environment where couples can explore their thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help couples feel validated and understood, strengthening their bond.

Overall, counselling can help couples navigate the complexities of their relationship, develop healthier patterns of interaction, and create a more fulfilling and sustainable partnership.

Sentience Counselling: Illuminate Your Path to Healing and Personal Growth

Embark on your path to personal growth and healing with Sentience Counselling in Alberta, where our therapists provide dedicated support. Discover transformative counselling services tailored to your needs. Take the first step towards emotional well-being – schedule a free 20-minute consultation with Sentience Counselling today.