Gottman Essay

3646 WordsAug 3, 200815 Pages
Gottman's Theory of Marital Intervention Dr. John M. Gottman, PhD, developed a theory of marital intervention unlike many others in its field, in that it is largely based on mathematics as well as psychological concepts. A review of Dr. Gottman's theory belies his initial training - before he embarked on his path toward a career in psychology - as a mathematician (“Mathematics of Marriage” XIV). Its origins, therefore, are strongly tied to this early field of study. Concepts of universality and empirical observation through dependence on statistics may cast Dr. Gottman in a more detached light than other therapists in his field, but that should not discount the validity of his findings. Indeed, I believe his work serves to complement that of others, and should be accepted for what it is, though not seen as a replacement for other, more traditional theories of marital intervention. What he has provided is a unique perspective on the problems that can ultimately produce a failed marriage, problems which many human beings before him have understandably assumed required a personal touch to address the underlying causes. First of, it is clear to see that Dr. Gottman's theory takes its roots in mathematics. This is immediately obvious once one reads the title of his book. But to really grasp how dependent his ideas on marital intervention are on math, a closer study is required. Chapter three reads like a textbook, explaining precisely which field of mathematics Dr. Gottman used to develop his ideas. He references a book call General System Theory by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, to cite a bridge between the natural sciences and social sciences. Though others in his field were inspired simply by the existence of any connection on which to rely for recognition of credibility, Gottman, went a step further. He references van Bertalanffy's notion that the interaction of

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