He is known for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis through scientific direct observations, many of which were published in peer-reviewed literature. The lessons derived from this work represent a partial basis for the relationship counseling movement that aims to improve 10 lessons to transform your marriage pdf functioning and the avoidance of those behaviors shown by Gottman and other researchers to harm human relationships. His work has also had a major impact on the development of important concepts on social sequence analysis.
Gottman is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington. Julie Schwartz Gottman head a therapist training entity called The Gottman Institute.
Gottman was recognized in 2007 as one of the 10 most influential therapists of the past quarter century. Gottman’s research showed that it wasn’t only how couples fought that mattered, but how they made up.
Marriages became stable over time if couples learned to reconcile successfully after a fight. Gottman developed multiple models, scales and formulas to predict marital stability and divorce in couples, and has completed seven studies in this field. These studies regarding newlywed couples are most well known. On the other hand, stable couples handle conflicts in gentle, positive ways, and are supportive of each other.
He developed the Gottman Method Couple’s Therapy based on his research findings. The therapy aims to increase respect, affection, and closeness, break through and resolve conflict, generate greater understandings, and to keep conflict discussions calm. The Gottman Method seeks to help couples build happy and stable marriages. Gottman’s predictions are based on perceived marital bond.
In his 2000 study, Gottman conducted oral interviews with 95 newlywed couples. Couples were asked about their relationship, mutual history, and philosophy towards marriage. The interview measured the couple’s perceptions of their history and marriage by focusing on the positive or negative qualities of the relationship expressed in the telling of the story.
Rather than scoring the content of their answers, interviewers used the Oral History Interview coding system, developed by Buehlman and Gottman in 1996, to measure spouses’ perceptions about the marriage and about each other. Therefore, the couples’ perception was used to predict marital stability or divorce. The more positive their perceptions and attitudes were about their marriage and each other, the more stable the marriage. His models partly rely on Paul Ekman’s method of analyzing human emotion and microexpressions.