Today’s Shrink’s link of the week is
The Gottman Institute
As I sat down to write a new series on relationships, I drew my inspiration from two influential writers in the field. One is David Schnarch. The second are John and Julie Gottman.
The Gottmans, a husband and wife team from Seattle, are known for the painstaking empirical research they take into marital behavior. When other writers on relationships pull their ideas out of thin air, or from another, nether, part of their anatomy, the Gottmans conducted interviews with 95 newlyweds and followed them over years. They not only listened to what those couples had to say, they also scrutinized physical data taken during those interviews: heart rate, sweating, skin temperature, as well as microexpressions. They not only paid attention to how they fought, they also noted how they made up, and if they did. They collected the best data we have on the predictors of divorce.
As you might expect from those who take a geeky approach to determining truth, little of Gottmania has made its way into the popular culture. They are not the people to go to if you are looking for sweeping theoretical constructs or whopping generalizations. They are the people you want to quote if you want to be right.