I am pleased to announce that as of May of this year I have successfully completed my certification as a recognized Gottman Therapist. I am the sixth Certified Gottman Therapist in Canada and the first in the Southern Interior.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What is Gottman and why does certification matter?“ In short, the Gottman Method is a way of thinking about relationships that is based solely on scientific observation of couples in real life situations, and the empirical data collected from these studies. In essence, it seeks to understand what successful couples are doing, and how that differs from relationships that are failing.
Sometimes friends ask me the question “What’s the one thing, the magic secret to marriage success?” It’s a pretty good question but the answer may not be as simple as all that. The truth is, there isn’t a “one answer fits all.” That’s because while we are almost certainly doing some things very well, there are a host of deadly “sins”, any one of which we may committing without even being aware. All we know is that we’re not as happy as we’d like to be.
Gottman Method Couples’ Therapy
A large body of research data collected over the last 35 years by the Gottman Relationship Institute, based in Seattle WA. casts light on what happy couples are doing to build strong and resilient marriages. The findings have allowed the Gottman Institute to develop techniques that enable them to predict relationship failure or success based on observing brief couple interactions, with breathtaking accuracy.
Using interventions based on research with over 3000 couples, the Gottman Method helps couples directly, and provides training to therapists on the front lines of couples therapy. Treatment is practical, and down-to-earth, enabling couples to leave each session with tested strategies that work to improve their relationship. No other approach to couples education and therapy has relied on such intensive, detailed, and long-term scientific studies of why marriages succeed or fail. As a result of this extensive research and library of therapeutic interventions, Dr. John Gottman was recently designated one of the 10 most influential psychologists in the last 25 years by the Psychotherapy Networker.
Being designated as a Certified Gottman Therapist means that I am able to offer my clients exposure to the most recent and comprehensive research into what makes relationships work and what predicts their demise. Clients learn how to build meaningful emotional connections out of everyday events that deepen friendship and build a sense of intimacy common purpose.
Conflict is pretty normal in every relationship. But the Gottman research found that how conflict is managed is one of the key predictors of relationship success or failure. If your conflict is characterized by the presence of “The Four Horsemen”, look out! You at risk of developing a negative view of your relationship and may begin to feel trapped. The Gottmans found that couples who are subject to Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt and Stonewalling (AKA The Four Horsemen) during conflict are at great risk of loosing their sense of feeling in love and may even begin to forget that they ever were in love in the first place. At this point, they are at extremely high risk of divorce.
Nobody sets out to engage in relational tactics that lead to the demise of their marriage, but once they start to set in play, they feed on themselves and gain momentum. Gottman Method Therapy helps couples to identify where they are hurting or helping their relationship cause. Directed and effective interventions based on empirical data leave couples seeing marked improvement in their relationship, often in a very short period of time.
MA; RCC and Director
Henry provides couples therapy in Kelowna and has been working with Marriages & Families since 1991. This includes 10 years as a foster parent, helping couples prepare for and enrich their family experience, and 25 years of private practice as a couples & family therapist. His wealth of experience and professionalism provide you and your family with the care and direction you need in order to achieve your relationship goals.