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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Couples: Cultivate Love, Gottman Style

Uploaded: Oct 19, 2017
Dr. John Gottman is best known for the extensive couples research he's conducted over many years at his institute in Seattle -- fondly known as the "Love Lab." Dr. Gottman's research reveals that contentment in a marriage is based on a solid friendship. Although Gottman doesn't use the same terminology, his work supports the overall theme  of secure attachment that I often write about in my Couple's Blog.

In his book, and the DVD of a couple's workshop, Gottman clearly spells out the seven principles, provides exercises, check lists, and so on. He dispels myths, and in a very accessible way, spells out a path to a loving and passionate relationship. His research shows that as long as couples have five positive/productive interactions to counteract one poor interaction, the relationship will last.

The book is available everywhere; the DVD workshop, The Art and Science of Love, is only available at his website:  The series is 5 DVDs and a workbook. There are lecture portions for you to watch, and then do the corresponding exercises.

Gottman's work is especially good for couples that fight a lot. For couples that don't fight much, you might feel that you can't relate to the problem-solving principles. However, the first four principles provide a great foundation for your couple, and the last principle focuses on creating shared meaning.

This is definitely worth your reading/watching/working time.
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 +  Like this comment
Posted by What about..., a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Oct 26, 2017 at 11:59 am

Gottman's work is fabulous.

One area I haven't read about is what he recommends when one (or both) of the couples have strong narcissistic traits. i.e. think they are always right, not interested in the opinion of others, low to no empathy. What is the treatment plan in these VERY COMMON scenarios?

 +  Like this comment
Posted by these guys can, a resident of Cuernavaca,
on Oct 30, 2017 at 5:11 am

What about those couples that had a bond, when they just looked at each other? Love at the first glance or something like that. Perhaps, there are exceptions then. However, the concept of friendship in marriage is quite different, and it requires thorough definition and verification of qualities.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 3, 2017 at 9:30 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi What About: the question would be, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" You have to choose the relationship over individual defense mechanisms.

Hi These guys, Love at first sight does happen sometimes. Building it into a mature relationship to go the distance is another thing. And can be done. I notice you want to be analytical about the concept of friendship in marriage. Are you the same way with your other friendships? What do you reciprocally do for friends? Having a strong friendship in marriage makes it a hell of a lot easier to get through the rough patches (and there will be some).

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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