Problems with communication are some of the most prevalent issues that bring couples in for therapy. Watershed therapists are highly trained in making an assessment of how communication breakdowns happen in relationships as well as how to correct them. Some Watershed therapists completed 2 levels of the Gottman method training and are determined to pursue an even deeper knowledge of this well-research and highly successful approach. We work successfully to correct defective communication patterns. Dr. John and Julie Gottman sum up these destructive communication patterns as:


Criticism: stating one’s complaints as a defect in one’s partner’s personality, i.e., giving the partner negative trait attributions. Example: “You always talk about yourself. You are so selfish.”


Contempt: statements that come from a relative position of superiority. Contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce and must be eliminated. Example: “You’re an idiot.”


Defensiveness: self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victim-hood. Defensiveness wards off a perceived attack. Example: “It’s not my fault that we’re always late; it’s your fault.”


Stonewalling: emotional withdrawal from interaction. Example: The listener does not give the speaker the usual nonverbal signals that the listener is “tracking” the speaker.