Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Sound Relationship House in Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_208-1

Name of Theory

The Sound Relationship House in Gottman Method Couples Therapy


The Sound Relationship House (SRH) theory forms the empirical basis for Gottman method couples therapy. Based on John Gottman’s research that began in the 1970s at the University of Illinois and then at the University of Washington, Gottman’s lab was one of the first labs to employ systematic observation to determine if there were patterns of behavior in relationships that could discriminate happy from unhappy couples (Gottman 1994). The results from Gottman’s lab, in collaboration with colleague Robert Levenson, led the researchers to discover that they could predict divorce with over 90% accuracy (Gottman and Levenson 2000).

The model was originally comprised of seven levels, or building blocks, of relationship development. The levels of the relationship house are divided into three interrelated components, the friendship system, the conflict system, and the meaning system. The SRH provides a...


Relationship House Emotional Bank Account Friendly System John Gottman Build Commitment 
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  1. Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  2. Gottman, J. M. (2015). Principia amoris: The new science of love. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Gottman, J. M., & Driver, J. L. (2005). Dysfunctional marital conflict and everyday marital interaction. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 43, 63–77.  https://doi.org/10.1300/J087v43n0304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  5. Navarra, R. J., Gottman, J. M., & Gottman, J. S. (2016). Sound relationship house theory and relationship and marriage education. In J. J. Ponzetti Jr. (Ed.), Evidence-based approaches to relationship and marriage education (pp. 93–107). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Gottman InstituteSeattleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Colorado State University, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Human Development and Family StudiesFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA