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  1. Gottman

  2. Current Divorce Statistics • Less divorces? • Exponential • World-wide • Epidemic Chart of divorces

  3. New divorce stats • 43% of 1st marriages end in divorce within 15 years • 33% within 10 years • 20% within 5 years • Women <18 when marrying-59% end in divorce within 15 years • Women 20+ years-36% end in divorce • One divorce every 13s Perception that divorce is declining is not true

  4. Huge consequences • For physical health • For immunosuppression • For psychological health • For longevity • For the children of divorce

  5. Children • Most kids are “fine” (70-80% ok) • Wide spectrum effects • Attentional system • Emotional regulation (also physiological) • Antisocial behavior, crime and deliquency for both genders, promiscuity, substance abse, school failure, peer rejection, deviant peers • Depression, anxiety • Sibling hostility, low warmth • Lasts into adulthood • Physical illness, lowered longevity

  6. Marital intervention studies • Research has been poorly conducted • Lock-Wallace or Dyadic Adjustment Scale • Couples are penalized for having disagreements • Not measuring what they’re supposed to measure Meta-analyses suggest statistically significant short term effects compared to no treatment group

  7. Treatment effects as an artifact • Distressed couples deteriorate dramatically in control groups

  8. Relapse • 30-50% • Within 2 years Our field’s most serious problem

  9. At best… • 11-18% effective

  10. Other research • Jacobson • Snyder & Willis (1991, 1992) • Halweg, et al. (1984) • Boegner, et al. (1984) • Greenberg & Johnson (1988) Only a handful of studies have found marital therapy produced lasting effects beyond one year

  11. What were the similarities?

  12. Active Listening • Only decreased negativity • Substantial decreases in gains on follow up • Is inadequate to produce lasting changes

  13. Gottman’s Goals • Need to understand the disasters of relationships • Need to understand the masters • Most clinical writing is based on fantasies of what a good relationship is • Myths Designing a scientifically-based therapy

  14. Marriages end because of extra-marital affairs (Shirley Glass; Frank Pittman) Not true

  15. Monogamy is for women (sociobiologists, Helen Fisher, David Buss) Not true

  16. Gender differences cause divorce Not true

  17. Without childhood wounds there would be no marital conflict or hostility Not true

  18. Marital conflict is due to unclear communication Not true

  19. In distressed marriages, there is no quid pro quo Not true

  20. Unrealistic expectations for marriage cause divorce Not true

  21. Demand-withdraw pattern is a problem in ailing marriages This one is true

  22. Poor problem solving is a problem in ailing marriages Not true

  23. Mind reading is a problem in ailing marriages Not true

  24. Residues of issues in family of origin cause dysfunction Not true

  25. Seven TRUE dysfunctions The bad habits of marriage According to research

  26. 1. Ratio of negativity • 1:5 ideal • 1.25:1 couples headed for divorce • Implies negativity is necessary for a happy marriage • Negativity plays prosocial functions • Marital therapy should NOT declare war on negativity

  27. 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse: The Warning Signs!  Criticism • Defensiveness • Contempt  Stonewalling

  28. 3. Failure of repair attempts

  29. 4. Negative sentiment overide • Everything perceived negatively • Rewrite history • Men rehearse distress-maintaining thoughts more than women

  30. 5. Flooding Diffuse Physiological Arousal (DPA) And the distance-isolation cascade

  31. 6. Chronic DPA And immunosuppression

  32. 7. Failure of men to accept influence from wives • Manifests in 2 patterns • Male emotional disengagement • Male escalation (belligerence, contempt, defensiveness) in response to wives’ low intensity negative affect

  33. What’s going on when the marriage is healthy?

  34. Marital styles are matched

  35. The Critical Distinctions: Influence Attempts and Emotional Expressiveness • Volatile: • begin influence attempts right away • the most emotionally expressive • positive and negative affect are freely expressed • strong, passionate individuals • high levels of disagreement as well as affection and humor • Validating: • influence attempts peak during middle part of interactions • emotional expressiveness in moderation, at the right time, and only on really central issues • emphasis on we-ness and companionship • Conflict-Avoidant: • minimize importance of a problem • emphasize strengths in their relationship

  36. Influence Function Mismatches Results Mismatches, the Real Problem Validator with Avoider The validator is constantly pursuing the avoider and feeling shut out emotionally. The avoider starts feeling flooded. Validator with Volatile The validator starts feeling not listened to and flooded, like he or she is doing combat duty all the time. The volatile feels that the validator is cold and unemotional, distant and disengaged. There seems to be no passion in the marriage. Avoider with Volatile This is the worst of the pursuer-distancer combinations. The avoider quickly feels that he or she has married and out-of-control crazy person. The volatile believes that he or she has married a cold fish and feels unloved, rejected, and unappreciated.

  37. Marital styles are matched • Couples still have problems • 31% perpetual • No active listening • Softened startup • Accepting influence • Negative reciprocity continues • Effective repair attempts • De-escalation of negativity • Anger is still present • Not a dangerous emotion • But Four horsemen and belligerence are Particularly by men