In this episode, Gottman senior faculty member Dr. Vagdevi Meunier and John Howard discuss the Gottman approach to relationship health. John Gottman is a legendary relationship health researcher who, along with his wife Julie, created a popular approach to couples health and counseling. The Gottman’s research-based approach is a well-known framework for understanding relationship health. Drs. John and Julie Gottmans’ studies compared the behavior of “master couples”–those living in vibrant and loving long-term relationships–with that of “disaster couples”, those headed for separation and divorce. Through these studies, the Gottmans learned what behaviors bring partners closer together and what drives them apart, enabling researchers to predict with incredible accuracy whether or not a partnership will survive.
Dr. Vagdevi Meunier is a licensed clinical psychologist and master trainer for the Gottman Institute. A native of India, she has over 30 years of experience as a therapist, consultant, and educator, including in diversity studies. She is a clinical assistant professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program at The University of Texas in Austin Texas. She has been a certified Gottman Couples Therapist and a certified Gottman Workshop Leader since 2006, and presents to professional audiences through her partnership with National Marriage Seminars. Dr. Meunier offers the Art and Science of Love weekend workshop for couples twice a year in Austin and has joined other workshop leaders to offer this workshop for couples in other cities.
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“It turns out that positivity in the form of fondness, admiration, compliments, turning towards your partner, completely overrides or mitigates any of the conflict that you have in a relationship. Your focus needs to be on fun!” – Dr. Vagdevi Meunier
- The building blocks of a “Sound Relationship House”
- The Gottmans’ definition of relationship health
- What it takes for two people to get along with each other for a very long time
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse for relationships
- How to return to relationship health from distress
- When to seek out professional help with your partner
- How the Gottman Method has gotten increasingly more inclusive over time
“A lot of times, partners think of interacting as just a psychological or emotional exercise, when in fact, our ability to feel safe and to have a discussion and to navigate differences is based so much on our ability to regulate our bodies and nervous-systems.” – John Howard
- Learn more about the Gottman Method
- Connect with Dr. Vagdevi Meunier: