The Science of Couples and Family Therapy

Behind the Scenes at the 'Love Lab'
John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman
WW Norton & Co 2017
ISBN 9780393712742


Bringing an evidence base to classic writings that opened psychotherapy up to more than one person at a time-the couple.

John and Julie Gottman, world-renowned for bringing an evidence base to couples therapy, report here the results of a second empirical revolution in understanding couples and families. This change is not based on their guesswork, but on state-of-the-art science. The book you hold in your hands finally completes the old general systems theory of the 1960s, which metaphorically described processes but did not actually research them.

A new general systems theory and therapy is presented here, one which will have profound implications for powerful clinical work with both couples and families. This new theory is based on 45 years of careful basic scientific research with thousands of couples and families, including synchronized observational, interview, physiological, and questionnaire data.

The Gottmans have studied some families for as long as 20 consecutive years. Their work has led to their highly replicated ability to precisely predict the future of relationships, relationship happiness, and whether couples will divorce or not with as much as 94% accuracy. Their empirical work has also led them to develop and test a theory of specifically what makes relationships work. Each construct in this theory is precise and measurable and it is all written about and described here.

This book presents an original new way of understanding relationships and families. Both theoretical and highly practical, and it will help clinicians become more effective in their everyday work.


“John and Julie Gottman's book is an amazing intellectual and stylistic achievement. It integrates all their previous work, intriguingly, by endowing with new meaning the concept out of which family therapy originated: homeostasis. John has been able to transfer his charismatic speaking style-the wit and pizzaz-to the printed page as he and Julie recount the twists and turns of their discoveries.” - Daniel Wile, author of After the Honeymoon, Revised Edition

“Couples therapists must read this fascinating book! A wealth of science linked to practice in a fun, readable way and the engrossing history of the Love Lab come together to make ANOTHER memorable contribution to the couples literature from the Gottman team.” - Sue Johnson, PhD, bestselling author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense

“This book is a tour de force in our field, combining powerful theoretical and mathematical insights with eminently practical clinical strategies. All delivered in lively and often personal writing. Only John and Julie Gottman could have pulled this off.” - William Doherty, PhD, author of Take Back Your Marriage

RRP: $54.95

Special Price $46.71