The Gottman Relationship Institute

Photo of relationship experts Julie and John Gottman
Julie and John Gottman

By Cat Saunders

As far as I’m concerned, Drs. John and Julie Gottman deserve a Medal of Honor for their outstanding body of work in the field of relationship research.

This endorsement may be shorter than some of the others in this section, but that’s not because I don’t have much to say about the Gottmans’ work. It’s because I have so much to say that I could easily get carried away and be here all night!

With decades of extensive scientific research under their belts, these two dynamos have helped countless individuals, couples, parents, and children relate more effectively and respectfully. The Gottmans’ two-day Couple’s Workshop, for example, is by far the best relationship workshop I’ve ever done—and believe me, I’ve done a lot of really good relationship workshops since 1971, when I first started down the path of personal growth work.

The information and tools offered in the Couple’s Workshop are practical, grounded, extensively researched, and downright fun. My longtime partner, John Giovine, and I both think John Gottman missed his calling as a stand-up comedian—this guy is hilarious!

Besides his great sense of humor, John and his wife, Julie, somehow make it possible for couples to change without losing face. Stuck patterns, fear, and shame can get in the way of positive change in intimate relationships, and the Gottmans are masters at making change feel safer and easier for both parties.

Whether you’re interested in the Gottmans’ work for personal or professional reasons, I cannot recommend them highly enough. They’ve made their work available and affordable through a wide variety of mediums to accommodate different tastes and styles—and your local library, if it’s anything like mine, is probably brimming with their books, CDs, and DVDs.

You can learn more about the Gottmans and their work by visiting their website.

Cat Saunders, Ph.D., is a counselor in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is also the author of Dr. Cat’s Helping Handbook: A Compassionate Guide for Being Human (available through Amazon). Contact Cat by emailing her or by calling 206-329-0125 (24-hour voicemail).