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Does Gottman Method Couples Therapy Work For Gay Couples? Here's What Our Latest Published Research

Updated: 6 days ago

There's no denying that gay and lesbian couples experience conflict over a lot of the same issues as heterosexual couples.

But as Certified Gottman Therapists (and a gay couple) who specialize in gay couples therapy, we began to wonder...

Does the Gottman Method work for same-sex couples as well as it does for heterosexual couples?

So we set out to conduct a study which was the first of its kind around exactly this topic.

And in 2017, the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy published our research study entitled "Results of Gottman Method Couples Therapy With Gay And Lesbian Couples."

Our findings?

Gay and lesbian couples using the Gottman Method:

  • Improve a whopping two-and-a-half more times than when using any other method;

  • Improved over the course of an average of just 11 sessions of therapy, nearly half the number of sessions typical for heterosexual couples; and

  • Improved even more in situations where the couple experienced minor domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse.

Which is to say that...

Gottman Method Couples Therapy not only works as well for same-sex couples as heterosexual couples, but it may be even more powerful due to key differences in relationship dynamics.

Why do same-sex couples improve so much using Gottman Method Couples Therapy?

Dr. Gottman’s research may explain some of the reasons.

First, a 12-year study by Drs. Gottman and Robert Levenson found that gay and lesbian couples use more kindness and humor to bring up a disagreement, and partners are overall more positive when engaging in disagreement with one another. They also found that gay and lesbian couples use fewer hostile and controlling emotional tactics.

What's more, Gottman found that in heterosexual couples, it's easier for one partner to hurt another with a negative comment than it is to make that partner feel good with a positive comment. However, same-sex couples enjoy a different dynamic. Their positive comments have a greater impact on feeling good, while negative comments have a lesser impact on feeling hurt.

“This trend suggests that gay and lesbian partners have a tendency to accept some degree of negativity without taking it personally,” Gottman noted, whose research also implies that heterosexual couples can learn a great deal from same-sex couples.

Is your same-sex relationship in need of a tune up?

Whether it's because of a solid foundation already present in same-sex relationships or as a result of the effects of Gottman Method Couples Therapy, the big take away from our study is that...

Gottman Method Couples Therapy offers successful results in relationship satisfaction improvement for gay and lesbian couples over relatively few sessions.

We are fortunate enough to have counselled several hundred gay and lesbian couples over the last 15 years, and our clinical experience reveals that...

Gay and lesbian couples receiving counseling at the Gay Couples Institute improved significantly over a six-year period of review.

If you feel it's finally time to jump start your relationship and improve the quality of your life, we would love to help you and your partner achieve the healthiest, happiest, and most fulfilling relationship possible.

Apply and schedule your consultation today.

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