Introduction to EFT and The Gottman Method

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and The Gottman Method are two popular approaches used in couples therapy to address relationship issues and promote healthier communication and connection. Both methods aim to help couples identify and change negative patterns of interaction that can lead to relationship distress (Doss et al., 2022). It also provides a comprehensive understanding of relationship dynamics.

EFT focuses on emotions as the key to understanding and transforming relationships. It helps couples identify and express their underlying emotions and needs, promoting empathy and understanding between partners. According to a 2012 study, “this approach emphasizes the importance of creating a secure attachment bond between partners, which is crucial for a healthy and fulfilling relationship” (Johnson & Denton). There are 3 primary stages that EFT goes through De-escalation, Restructuring Interactions, and Consolidation (Johnson & Greenman, 2006).

The Gottman Method, developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman is a research-based approach that focuses on the assessment and intervention of relationship dynamics. It is recognized as a strategy that emphasizes strengthening the positive perspective to get stronger compatibility, improve self-disclosure, and develop mutual understanding to demonstrate interest and enhance relationships. Mahmoudi et al, (2015) indicated that Gottman couple therapy enhanced marital intimacy, satisfaction, adjustment, positive emotions, and all sections of communication patterns and marital conflict. The method is highly structured, with specific techniques and interventions designed to strengthen the couple’s relationship.

Common relationship issues including conflict, emotional separation, and poor communication are all addressed by both EFT and The Gottman Method. They give couples useful tools and techniques to improve their overall well-being and level of relationship happiness. These strategies are supported by plenty of research and have been proven to be successful in assisting couples in healing and enhancing their relationship.

Doss, B. D., Roddy, M. K., Wiebe, S. A., & Johnson, S. M. (2022). A review of the research during 2010-2019 on evidence-based treatments for couple relationship distress. Journal of marital and family therapy, 48(1), 283–306.

Johnson, S. M., & Denton, W. (2002). Emotionally focused couples therapy: Creating secure connections. In A. S. Gurman & N. Jacobson (Eds.), Clinical handbook of marital therapy. New York: Guilford Press. 221–250, 3rd ed.

Johnson, S. M., & Greenman, P. S. (2006). The path to a secure bond: emotionally focused couple therapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(5), 597–609.

Mahmoudi, M., Zahrakar, K., Amirian, A., Davarnia, R., Garmakhan, M. B. (2015). Effectiveness of group training of practical application of intimate communication skills on promoting intimate satisfaction, positive emotions, and marital intimacy among couples. Journal of Department of Nursery and Midwifery of Urmia. 13: 869-881. 33.

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