The Marriage Clinic Casebook

By L'Abate, Luciano | American Journal of Psychotherapy, July 1, 2005 | Go to article overview
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The Marriage Clinic Casebook


L'Abate, Luciano, American Journal of Psychotherapy


JULIE SCHWARTZ GOTTMAN (Eo.): The Marriage Clinic casebook. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004, 237 pp., $32.00, ISBN 0-393-70413-0

After a short forward by John Gottman, the editor of this casebook devotes an introductory chapter to a brief background history and overview of Gottman Method Couples Therapy. This method consists essentially of a lengthy, empirically derived test battery, a structured interview, and seven levels. These levels explain process and change in couple therapy, and include (by now) the famous four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They produce "downfalls" (or "cascades") in couples: criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness, and contempt.

The 13 chapters are devoted to a variety of aspects of Gottman Methods's including its effects on the equilibrium of the couple therapist (Cynthia H. Ervin); extramarital affairs (Julie Schwartz Gottman); treating a couple with traumarelated domestic violence (Regina Delmastro); a couple with depression (Terry Sterrenberg); a couple with borderline qualities (Barbara Johnston); on sexual dysfunction (Ruth Sakes); an emotionally distant couple (Connie Feutz); the use of metaphor (Sarah L. Rattray); and Marathon Couples Therapy (Andy Greendorfer). The book also includes discussions on bridging psychodynamic couples therapy and the Gottman Method of couples therapy (Maureen Sawyer), when parenting is the issue (Mirabai Wahbe), and termination and two-year follow-up for relapse prevention (Michael T. Clifford).

This casebook is disappointing, given perhaps, the high expectations of this reviewer. He was hoping that, if a method is defined as a sequence of repeatable steps, it would include at termination a re-test of the extensive test-battery administered at the outset.

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