Posts Tagged ‘Marital Bliss’

The Gottman Connections – Winter Issue 2013

I am a therapist by night,  Director of Professional Development at The Gottman Institute in Seattle, Washington by day.  Many many thousands of clinicians around the world receive training from The Gottman Institute.  As I help to grow Gottman globally, I continue to grow as a therapist in my own practice.

The Professional Development Department releases a quarterly newsletter to keep all of our thousands of therapists informed on what TGI is up to and where we are going.  Have a read and see what is on the horizon for TGI as we support therapists from around the World.


Gottman Seven Principles Program – Educator’s Training

7 Principles Educators Training Graphic for Website

I am excited to announce that I will be offering (2) one-day training with Dr. David Penner in Seattle, Washington at the Seattle Convention Center May 3rd and May 18th.

Who is the training for?
Clergy, educators, life coaches, community leaders, social workers, nurses, counselors, and anyone interested in making a difference in couples’ lives.  Whether you have years of experience as a clinically trained therapist or are a lay person, this training will give you tools to facilitate The Gottman Seven Principles Program in your community.

What can you do with this training?
The training provides the tools and know-how to facilitate couples’ small groups and classes at your church, community center, place of business, or home.

What can I expect from the training?
In this experiential live one-day training, Gottman Institute staff members Dr. David Penner and Laura Heck, LMFTA, respective authors of the Seven Principles Leader’s Guide and the Seven Principles Companion Workbook, provide extensive instruction with a combination of lecture, multi-media presentations, interactive exercises, role plays and discussion.  Participants will be taught how to use Seven Principles Program materials, to teach lecture content by integrating research from the Seven Principles book, and lead couples through relationship enhancing exercises.  Trainees will be able to facilitate a Gottman Seven Principles Program for Couples immediately following the training.

Required Reading
It is required that you read and are familiar with The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work book prior to attending the training. This book is available at our store and elsewhere.  You may also receive 10 CEs for reading the Seven Principles Book.   

As a result of Educator Training, you will:

  • Know how to plan, budget, market and organize your own Seven Principles class
  • Gain practical strategies for presenting the Seven Principles Program in your community
  • Participate in experiential role play and practice Seven Principles Program exercises
  • Learn how to present the lectures and content to your students
  • Know how to support and encourage the class
  • Develop skills to handle difficult situations and make referrals
  • Understand how to use box set materials to enrich the workshop experience
  • Be able to market yourself as a “Gottman Seven Principles Program Educator
    You will receive:
    Upon completion of the training and satisfactory scoring on the assessment of knowledge, attendees are awarded an official Gottman Seven Principles Program Educator certificate and seal. Included in the registration price is a complete Gottman Seven Principles Program for Educators Box Set ($150.00 value), which contains the core items facilitators need to present a productive and engaging workshop.  The Box Set contains samples of the most popular Gottman products that will make your classes more exciting, interesting, and fun. Each item is available for bulk purchase with further discounts.  Box contents:
    • Leaders Guide – A detailed framework for preparing and leading the class. Includes a CD containing a PowerPoint presentation on key concepts and template marketing forms.
    • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (original paperback book)
    • Companion Workbook  – A place to record individual answers, encourage reflection, and integrate knowledge on material in the book.
    • Making Relationships Work DVD by Dr. John Gottman
    • Love Map/ Open Ended Questions Card Deck
    • 52 Questions Before Marriage or Moving In Card Deck
    • “I Appreciate You” Magnet Set
    • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse sign
    • Relationship Guides

    About The Gottman Seven Principles Program for Couples
    This program is based upon Dr. Gottman’s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work . Straightforward in its approach yet profound in its effect, the principles outlined in this groundbreaking book teach partners new and startling strategies for making their marriage work.  For over 30 years Dr. Gottman scientifically analyzed the habits of married couples and established a method of correcting the behaviors that puts thousands of marriages on the rocks.  He helps couples focus on each other, on paying attention to the small day-to-day moments that, strung together, make up the heart and soul of any relationship.

    Cost of Workshop: $300.00/person
    Price includes:
    – Live Training Registration
    – Gottman Seven Principles Program for Educators Box Set
    – “Gottman Seven Principles Program Educator” Certificate and Seal (subject to passing assessment of knowledge)

    Continued Education10 CEs
    CE certificates are available for $29.99 for reading The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. To purchase CEs, please click here to go to our third party provider’s (PESI/CMI) CE download page, or contact PESI/CMI Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. Questions?
    Questions about the training can be directed to Laura Heck at (206) 523-9042 ext. 102 or email:
    laurah@gottman.com7PP Seal

He’s Still Not Seeing My Side

Laura Heck_Mercer Island_Couples TherapistAll too often we get caught up in THE GAME of trying to convince our partner or get our way. Is it really that important to you or are you just being stubborn and playing THE GAME? The next time you and your partner are at opposites, ask yourself “ important is it to you to get your way on this matter?” Rank your importance of a scale of 1-10. Have your partner do the same thing. Share with each other how you have ranked. If it is really a priority, then stick out the discussion and try to reach a compromise. If not, let it gooooooo…. Yield to your partner and allow them to get their way.

We spend way too much time playing THE GAME and not enough time treasuring our loved ones. Don’t sweat the small stuff and put up the fight on things that matter the most.

Kiss Longer in 2013

Laura Heck Marriage and Family Therapist Mercer Island Couple Therapy Kirkland Counselor Bellevue

This New Year, you will experience your relationship in a new and profound way.  Like a garden, your relationship requires attention to detail, constant watering, and in return you will receive a bounty of gifts that will nourish your mind, body and soul.  Most New Year resolutions focus on the stopping of a bad habit or the age old commitment to regular gym attendance.  Both resolutions will result in a better you.  This year, commit to nurturing your relationship and taking it to a whole new level.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.


1.  Kiss Longer

2.  Speak Softer

3.  Focus on the Positive Qualities of Your Partner

4.  Accept Influence (you don’t always have to get your way)

5.  Discover your Partner’s Unrealized Dream and Encourage them to Reach it

6.  Commit to a Weekly Date Night

7.  Balance your Togetherness and Independence

8.  Manage your Conflict rather than Sweeping it Under the Rug

9.  Speak your Mind (your partner is not a  mind reader)

10. Share your Inner Sexual Fantasy with your Partner




New Office Location: Mercer Island

Office Location:  3035 Island Crest Way, Suite 102, Mercer Island, WA.  98040

Beginning January 1st, 2013, I will begin seeing clients Monday-Friday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm at my new office location on Mercer Island.

3035 Island Crest Way, Suite 102

Mercer Island, WA.  98040

The Mercer Island office is conveniently located in the business district of Mercer Island, immediately off the I-90 “Island Crest Way” exit. Parking is plentiful and free.  If you arrive a bit early, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the waiting room.

Coming from the West

1. From I-90 East, take the “Island Crest Way” exit (#7B)
2. Go through a tunnel and immediately get into the right lane (marked with a “right turn only” sign)
3. Turn RIGHT onto SE 30th St (first right after the tunnel)
4. Immediately get into the left turn lane and take your immediate LEFT (120 ft) into an alley (Note: if you come to a 4-way stop on SE 30th St & 80th Ave SE, you have gone too far) On the corner where you will turn into the alley you will see a two-story tan medical building called Mercer Park Professional Building.
5. Proceed down the alley (300ft) and park below/adjacent to the light grey building with white framed windows and go up the stairs (please call for information regarding disability access if the stairs will be difficult for you).
6. My office is on the ground floor, suite #102. After entering the building turn right and proceed down the hallway. The waiting area is the first door to the left and a sign is above the door.

Coming from the East

1. From I-90 West, take the “Island Crest Way” exit (#7)
2. Take a LEFT at the light (Island Crest Way).
3. Go straight through the first light (SE 27th St) and then take a RIGHT onto SE 28th St
4. Turn LEFT at the next intersection onto 80th Ave SE
5. Turn LEFT at a four way stop onto SE 30th St
6. Take a quick RIGHT into the alley immediately past the “right turn only” sign (Note: If you go to Island Crest Way, you have gone too far). On the corner where you turn you will see a two-story tan medical building called Mercer Park Professional Building. Keep heading south toward the second large building.
7. Proceed down the alley (300ft) and park below/adjacent to the grey building with white framed windows and go up the stairs (please call for information regarding disability access if the stairs will be difficult for you).
8. My office is on the ground floor, suite #102. After entering the building turn right and proceed down the hallway. The waiting area is the first door to the left with a sign over the door.

5 Love Languages

5 love languages, Laura Heck, Marriage and Family Therapist, Mercer Island, Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue

Many of you have heard of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages but have not taken the time to read through his best selling book. No problem, here is a quick and effective 30 question assessment to guide you toward discovery of your preferred Love Language. Once you understand how you like to receive love, the power comes in telling your partner your preference. Better yet, have your partner take their own assessment! Your partner is not a mind reader. You are giving your partner the key to making you feel extra special and loved. Good timing too…because the holidays are right around the corner and your main squeeze is probably wondering what is going to say “I love you” in just the right way.

Happy Loving!


We Do Love

Laura Heck, Gottman Method, Marriage and Family Therapist, Seattle

Keep Calm and Kiss Me


Quiz: How Much Stress Have You Been Under Lately?

I am reposting this Blog entry by The Gottman Institute because I use this metric in my own practice with couples.  Often couples have no idea how much external stressors are weighing down their relationship.  Below is a quiz that can help quantify the amount of stress each partner has.  Thank you to TGI for posting this quiz for all to take.

Is your stress negatively effecting your relationship?

As we promised in Monday’s blog, today we offer you a test developed by researchers Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe and used by Dr. Gottman to measure your current stress level. The tools for couples that Dr. Gottman provides in his recently released book on trust are most effective if they are used by partners whose connection is based on a foundation of teamwork!  Couples who communicate about stressors and work together to fight stress build a culture of trust and mutual appreciation by supporting each other in tough times.
Note: Not only can stress have a disastrous impact on your relationship – it can also be detrimental to your health. Just as we discussed Dr. Gottman’s research on flooding and its detrimental effects on physiological health, any long-term stress is debilitating to our bodies. Decrease your level of stress and reduce the likelihood of damage both to your relationship and to your physical health!
The following quiz is designed to be taken by each of you individually to give both of you an idea of your starting point with regard to stress. Just like the trust-metric quiz we showed you last week, your results are likely to improve vastly when you practice Dr. Gottman’s research-based exercises from his long-awaited book What Makes Love Last? If you retake this quiz upon completion of the activities in his most recent book, expect improvement in your scores!
Circle the events you’ve experienced in the past year. Then, total the number of points assigned to the items you’ve circled:
  • Death of a spouse – 100
  • Divorce – 73
  • Marital separation – 65
  • Imprisonment – 63
  • Death of a close family member – 63
  • Major personal injury or illness – 53
  • Getting married – 50
  • Dismissal from work – 47
  • Marital reconciliation – 45
  • Retirement – 45
  • Major change in health of family member – 44
  • Pregnancy – 40
  • Sexual difficulties – 39
  • Gain of new family member (birth, adoption, elderly relative moving in) – 39
  • Major business readjustment (merger, re-organization, bankruptcy) – 39
  • Major change in financial state – 38
  • Death of a close friend – 37
  • Change to a different line of work – 36
  • Change in the number of arguments you have with a spouse – 35
  • Major mortgage – 32
  • Foreclosure of mortgage or loan – 30
  • Major change in responsibilities at work – 29
  • Son or daughter leaving home – 29
  • Trouble with in-laws – 29
  • Outstanding personal achievement – 28
  • Spouse begins or stops work outside of home – 26
  • Beginning or ending formal schooling – 26
  • Change in living conditions – 25
  • Revision of personal habits  24
  • Trouble with boss – 23
  • Major change in work hours/conditions – 20
  • Change in residence – 20
  • Change in schools – 20
  • Major change in recreational activities – 29
  • Major change in church activities – 19
  • Major change in social activities – 18
  • Minor mortgage or loan – 17
  • Major change in sleeping habits – 16
  • Major change in number of family get-togethers – 15
  • Major change in eating habits – 15
  • Vacation – 13
  • Christmas season – 12
  • Minor violation of the law (traffic ticket, etc.) – 11

Less than 150 points =  low risk of developing stress-related illness 150-300 points =  medium risk of developing stress-related illness More than 300 points =  high risk of developing stress -related illness.


Remember – this score is just a baseline estimate of your stress levels! Keep in mind that a great deal of the stress that you are experiencing may not be caused by your relationship. However, it may very well have enormous impact on your relationship if you let it build! If you use Gottman’s methods of stress-reduction, your stress levels are bound to decrease. On Friday, look forward to the first in a coming series of Dr. Gottman’s simple stress-reduction exercises.
All for now, E. Lisitsa TGI Staff

Female Dictionary

Wouldn’t it just be easier to assert our needs in a language that ALL can understand?