Groundbreaking Study Establishes Gottman Method Couples Therapy As Effective For Gay and Lesbian Couples
October 4, 2017
In 2007, Alapaki Yee and I were two years into our relationship. At that time, I had just started a small private psychotherapy practice in San Francisco. Alapaki was in a counseling psychology graduate school program; we hoped to someday build a practice together.
What most people don’t know is that when you’re dating another therapist, you like to surprise each other with continuing education. You can complete the units together, and sometimes turn it into a short getaway.
I had never really considered visiting Seattle when our plane landed there in August, 2007. This was supposed to be my big surprise for my 30th birthday. I thought we were going to Switzerland, one of my favorite places in the world.
I was even more surprised when a taxi arrived at our hotel the following morning. The “surprises” continued as Alapaki told the driver to take us to the Seattle Center, and then we walked into John and Julie Gottman’s ‘Art and Science of Love’ workshop.
In all honesty, I immediately started having fun learning about the communication techniques they were teaching. We enjoyed the break out exercises. The only problem in our mind was that we were one of three same-sex couples in a room of three hundred heterosexual couples.
CREATION OF THE GAY COUPLES INSTITUTE:
We asked John and Julie about whether these workshops exist for gay couples. They said, “Oh would you do that for us???” I thought, “Sure.” I don’t think they expected, though, that Alapaki and I would go back to our hotel and start planning. After several hours of dreaming and writing out many details, the Gay Couples Institute was created.