An eminent therapist explains what makes couples compatible and how to sustain a happy marriage.
For the past thirty-five years, John Gottman’s research has been internationally recognized for its unprecedented ability to precisely measure interactive processes in couples and to predict the long-term success or failure of relationships. In this groundbreaking book, he presents a new approach to understanding and changing couples: a fundamental social skill called “emotional attunement,” which describes a couple’s ability to fully process and move on from negative emotional events, ultimately creating a stronger relationship.
Gottman draws from this longitudinal research and theory to show how emotional attunement can downregulate negative affect, help couples focus on positive traits and memories, and even help prevent domestic violence. He offers a detailed intervention devised to cultivate attunement, thereby helping couples connect, respect, and show affection. Emotional attunement is extended to tackle the subjects of flooding, the story we tell ourselves about our relationship, conflict, personality, changing relationships, and gender. Gottman also explains how to create emotional attunement when it is missing, to lay a foundation that will carry the relationship through difficult times.
Gottman encourages couples to cultivate attunement through awareness, tolerance, understanding, non-defensive listening, and empathy. These qualities, he argues, inspire confidence in couples, and the sense that despite the inevitable struggles, the relationship is enduring and resilient.
This book, an essential follow-up to his 1999 The Marriage Clinic
, offers therapists, students, and researchers detailed intervention for working with couples, and offers couples a roadmap to a stronger future together.
"John Gottman has done it again. He has shown why he is a leader in the field of couples therapy. . . . [A]n amazing accumulation of facts, studies, and concepts that are truly useful. . . . I found myself wanting to read this book with a pen and pad in hand just so I could take notes. . . . Not only do I recommend this book, I will certainly encourage my students to read it because in the future much of this material will become expected knowledge for marriage counseling." -- Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter
"This creative and cutting-edge encyclopedic volume on marriage by the dean of marriage research, John Gottman, has something for the academic, the researcher, the clinician and surprisingly, the game theorist and mathematician...All readers will be stretched and enriched by this book. " -- Harville Hendrix, PhD, and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD, coathors of Receiving Love and co-creators of Imago Relationship Theory
"Gottman's Science of Trust reflects his lifelong devotion to helping others improve their relationships.... [H]elpful content summaries provide easy access so that a busy practitioner of client can quickly and selectively access Gottman's latest information as needed.... [A] noteworthy addition to any practitioner's library." -- Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
"[A] text that I will recommend as essential for training marital therapists." -- PsycCritiques
"As always, John Gottman's cutting edge science and wide-ranging wisdom about relationships astounds and inspires. This book tells us that the science of love relationships is well on its way. We really can grasp and shape our most important relationships. " -- Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight
"John Gottman, the premier thinker and experimenter in the science of couple relationships, has done it again. In his earlier concept of bids, he brought clarity to the murky idea of connection. Now, in the concept of attunement, he brings clarity to the even murkier idea of trust." -- Dan Wile, author of After the Honeymoon