The Gottman Institute Takes A Research Based Approach To Relationship Support

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The Gottman Institute Takes a Research-Based Approach to Relationship Support

Amber Brooks

Written by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is the Editor-in-Chief at When she was growing up, her family teased her for being "boy crazy," but she preferred to think of herself as a budding dating and relationship expert. As an English major in college, Amber honed her communication skills to write clearly, knowledgeably, and passionately about a variety of subjects. Now with over 1,800 lifestyle articles to her name, Amber brings her tireless wit and relatable experiences to She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The Short Version: The Gottman Institute was founded in 1996 by Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, leading researchers and clinical psychologists. Together, the Gottmans designed experiential workshops and science-based strategies for couples in committed relationships. The Gottman Method for happy relationships draws from 40 years of research with more than 3,000 couples. You and your loved one can learn the secrets of a lasting marriage via insightful programs, helpful services, and fun products. From building a “Love Map” to an “Emotional Bank Account,” The Gottman Institute teaches many effective relationship techniques to help couples keep the romance alive and stay emotionally connected to one another.

A recent study conducted by the Sloan Center at UCLA surveyed 30 heterosexual couples with young children in dual-income households. The study found many husbands and wives drift apart, seldom interacting without their children. These couples seemed to neglect their marriages as they worked to maintain their careers and raise their children.

“One researcher on this project told me it was his impression that these couples only spent about 35 minutes together every week in conversation,” wrote Dr. John Gottman, a relationship expert, in a blog post, “and most of their talk was about errands and tasks that they had to get done.”

Especially nowadays, it’s all too easy for couples to hide in their digital devices and let their bonds wither from lack of attention and communication. In his New York Times bestselling book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman emphasizes the importance of unplugging from distractions so you can bond more closely with your partner. If you’re not sure what to say or how to get started, The Gottman Institute supplies simple and practical tools and strategies for constructive conversation.

Photo of Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, Founders of the Gottman Institute

The Gottmans are world-renowned for their relationship expertise.

The Gottman Institute was founded in 1996 by John and Julie Schwartz Gottman, both leading researchers and clinical psychologists. They sought to combine his longitudinal research and her clinical experience to offer proven relationship intervention techniques that would empower all types of couples.

By using empirical data from research on over 3,000 couples, the Gottmans developed their own trademarked approach to building intimacy and connection. The Sound Relationship House Theory outlines nine key factors of healthy relationships: build love maps, share fondness and admiration, respond to each other’s needs, maintain a positive perspective, manage conflict, support life dreams, create shared meaning, foster commitment, and trust.

According to this psychological profile, having a shared understanding and purpose is paramount, but establishing such a deep friendship takes conscious effort. As a leader in research-based couples therapy, The Gottman Institute provides resources to help couples reinforce the foundations of a secure and happy relationship.

“Our approach and methods aren’t just for married couples. They can help anyone in a relationship,” said Michael Fulwiler, Chief Product Officer at The Gottman Institute. “Dating couples, in particular, can benefit from Dr. John Gottman’s teachings.”

Helping Millions of People Through Innovative Programs & Products

From a relationship blog to private couples retreats, The Gottman Institute offers many fun opportunities to learn and grow alongside the one you love. Since 1996, The Gottman Institute has helped millions of people around the world live happier, more fulfilling lives. The Gottman Institute has a calendar full of upcoming events, including professional trainings, workshops for couples, and public talks.

The Sound Relationship House

According to the Sound Relationship House Theory, a relationship must include trust, commitment, understanding, admiration, and shared meaning.

“Our approach to relationship health has been developed from over 40 years of research with more than 3,000 couples,” Michael told us. “We have trained more than 50,000 clinicians worldwide in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.” You can find a Gottman-trained therapist using the Gottman Referral Network.

Over the years, the Gottmans have come out with quite a few page-turners to support couples. You can browse through self-help books to learn proven principles to strengthen relationships using the Gottman Method. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is among the more popular guides with more than a million copies sold.

If you want more insights from the experts at The Gottman Institute, the Marriage Minute newsletter offers free resources, including videos, articles, and exercises, sent to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Additionally, you can sign up to their mailing list for free to stay updated on breakthrough research, useful communication skills, and innovative relationship strategies backed by The Gottman Institute.

The Gottman Couples Retreat Board Game™ Adds Fun to Your Relationship

Working on your relationship doesn’t have to feel like work. It can be fun with the Gottman Couples Retreat Board Game, which stimulates conversation and intimacy between couples. The board game comes with more than 300 cards of open-ended questions, relationship facts, saucy invitations, and compatibility tests.

Photo of the Gottman Couples Retreat Board Game

The Gottman board game prompts couples to laugh, flirt, and converse with one another.

From thoughtful questions like “How have you changed in the last year?” to silly challenges like “Hum, whistle, or sing your partner a love song, and then have them guess it,” this game gets couples connecting on a deeper level. The interactive board game was dreamed up by a couple who had attended a workshop and fallen in love with the Gottman Method.

“Our goal was to facilitate moments of connection and closeness for couples while locking in the learnings through shared experiences,” wrote Kerry and Mike McCarter, the creators of the board game. “We decided that a board game for couples was the easiest and most accessible way to get started.”

Engaging Weekend Workshops Boast a 94% Success Rate

The Gottman Institute provides credible relationship advice for dealing with conflict, showing affection, and building on your strengths as a couple.

“We are most proud of our weekend workshop for couples, The Art and Science of Love, which John and Julie Gottman present five times per year in Seattle,” Michael told us. “In two days, it is shown to achieve results similar to those of six months of marital therapy.”

“We were really unaware of the specific problems we were facing until this workshop… I feel very optimistic in being able to listen and speak now about our core issues.” — B.N., a satisfied workshop attendee

This popular course is psycho-educational, confidential, and effective. According to post-workshop surveys, 94% of couples who attended the weekend workshop in 2016 reported the experience had a positive impact on their relationships.

After you’ve completed the Gottman workshop, you can sign up for a follow-up course, called The Art and Science of Love 2, to continue to grow and improve with that someone special. This in-depth workshop builds on what you learned in your first experience and provides fresh challenges in an intimate setting.

Reveal the 13 Secrets of Partners With Great Sex Lives

In Building a Great Sex Life is Not Rocket Science, John Gottman draws from an online study of 70,000 people in 24 countries to identify the hallmarks of couples who report having great sex. He maintains that treating one another with love and affection is vital to satisfying emotional and physical connections. According to Dr. Gottman, the following 13 actions will lead couples to an amazing sex life:

  1. They say “I love you” every day and mean it
  2. They kiss one another passionately for no reason
  3. They give surprise romantic gifts
  4. They know what turns their partners on and off erotically
  5. They are physically affectionate, even in public
  6. They keep playing and having fun together
  7. They cuddle
  8. They make sex a priority, not the last item of a long to-do list
  9. They stay good friends
  10. They can talk comfortably about their sex life
  11. They have weekly dates
  12. They take romantic vacations
  13. They are mindful about turning toward one another

In another article on the Gottman Relationship Blog, John Gottman asserts that compatible personality traits are not reliable predictors of relationship success. He makes the case, based on years of research and his own experience, that joint collaboration is the key to lasting connections. Couples who work together to build something meaningful, such as a family or a business, enjoy long and fulfilling relationships.

“How a couple interacts is the single, most fundamental aspect of creating a successful relationship,” Michael explained. “It’s not who you are or what you do — it’s how you speak to each other, how well you get along, and how you move through time together.”

The Gottman Institute Strengthens Bonds Worldwide

Technology brings many conveniences to our lives, but relying on it too heavily can rob us of the deep personal connections that come from face-to-face interactions. In the modern dating world, staying in contact is easy — staying in touch is more difficult. If you want to remain close with your partner, The Gottman Institute can show the way with expert advice on everything from communication styles to intimacy goals.

The Gottman Institute logo

The Gottman Institute offers positive guidance for couples of all ages, abilities, and orientations

Drawing from research on real couples, the Gottmans have been able to distinguish the differences between happy and unhappy couples. Their techniques, workshops, books, and games can help you revitalize your romance and grow closer with your partner. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or hoping to be in one soon, the Gottman Method provides useful insights into what makes relationships endure over time.

The Gottman Institute is always expanding its services to support the longevity of relationships. The team is currently developing an innovative new program for singles, so anyone can use The Seven Principles of Making a Marriage Work to improve their love lives in fundamental ways.

“At the Gottman Institute, we inspire, support, and challenge each other every day as we find new ways to bring greater love and health to relationships all over the world,” Michael said. “We are clinicians, scientists, thinkers, writers, and designers who are smart, fun, and truly dedicated to making a difference.”

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