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The Gottman approach to marriage counseling

After 40 years of longitudinal research on relationships and marriage, Dr. John Gottman from the University of Washington found that the divorce statistics remain dire. There's a 67% chance that a first marriage will end in divorce over a 40 year period and that half of all divorces end within the first seven years. The divorce rate for second marriages may be 10% higher than first marriages according to some studies. Thankfully there is hope. In his book “The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work,” John Gottman (he can predict whether a couple will get divorced with something like 95% accuracy after watching them interact for only a few minutes) cites “enhancing your love maps” as the first principle. The love map is the part of your brain where you store the most relevant information about your spouse. This means that in order to truly and intimately connect with your partner you need to really know your partner's world. What is relevant about your partner’s life, from small things like their favorite color, movie or book to big things like significant experiences that shaped who they are? He explains that couples who have detailed love maps of each other’s worlds are much more equipped to cope with stressful events and overcome conflict. We will use his methods for analyzing and improving marriage relationships.

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