Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Bids and Turning Toward in Gottman Method Couple Therapy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_183-1

Name of Concept

Bids and Turning Toward in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.



Research indicates that a reliable predictor of relationship satisfaction and stability is found in how couples typically respond to each other’s attempts for conversation and connection, referred to as “Bids and Turning Toward” (Gottman 2001). While heart-to-heart conversations create moments of closeness, a more pervasive sense of emotional connection is found in nuanced day-to-day interactions that may not seem particularly significant or even noticeable at the time.

Theoretical Framework

Bids are defined as any attempt a partner makes, verbally or nonverbally, to connect with the other partner. The couple’s ability to pay attention to and effectively respond to these immediate needs for connection is defined as “Turning Toward,” which increases positivity and is likened to making a deposit in the “emotional bank account.” An emotional bank account balance in the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Gottman InstituteSeattleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam R. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA