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The Science of Love and Relationships

Three factors of successful relationships

What John Gottman doesn't know about relationships probably isn't worth knowing. According to Gottman, the three necessities for a successful relationship are 1. trust, 2. commitment and 3. calm. The first two factors are fairly obvious, two sides of a contract, both partners committing to being together and trusting that the other will honour the commitment too. The third factor, though, calm, is really interesting. It is one I have never seen mentioned anywhere else. Keeping the emotional temperature low, avoiding drama and unnecessary conflict, and resolving those conflicts quickly, are all extremely important in maintaining a healthy relationship.

Objective research about love and relationships The great thing about Gottman's work, is that it's completely objective, so far as that is possible. It's all based on his own research with his team in his 'Love Lab', watching thousands of hours of video, analysing streams of data, and finding out what really works in practice. So many relationship gurus are working much more subjectively, relying on their own talents and instincts and experience. Gottman is just saying, "Here is the information which we have found to make the difference. Use it."

What brings clients to a hypnotherapist such as myself?

I see many clients about relationship issues. Some of them are directly about the relationship itself, such as jealousy and anger. Others are more about behaviours, such as not being able to stand your partner's snoring or addictive behaviours. Others yet about past relationships and their effects: guilt, loss of confidence and self-esteem, sadness and grief, inability to trust again.

Why hypnotherapy for relationships? So why do people come to see a hypnotherapist about relationship issues? Usually to get over factors in themselves which are having a negative effect on their relationships. Yet occasionally I will work with both partners separately. Does any of this guarantee that a relationship will continue happily ever after? Of course not. Sometimes one partner has already decided that they are ready to quit, and nothing will change their minds. Yet almost all of the time we can make enough difference for it to have been worthwhile doing the work. Results of hypnotherapy Clients usually leave feeling differently and behaving differently as a result. This means that whether they stay in a relationship or look for a new one, they are better equipped emotionally to increase their chances of success. Unfortunately, we are not well trained in dealing with other people from an early age, and have to learn as we go along. On the positive side, thanks to the work of people like Gottman, we have a few more tools which are based on reality and can help us to have some signposts to guide us in the right direction.

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