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  • FEMALE SPEAKER: Hello.

  • I am delighted to have Laura Heck here with us today.

  • Laura is a licensed marriage and family

  • therapist in private practice.

  • She recently served in a leadership role at the Gottman

  • Institute as the Director of Professional Development.

  • Together with the Gottman Institute clinical director,

  • Laura co-developed the Gottman Seven Principles Program

  • and is also the author of the "Seven Principles Companion

  • Workbook," a tool for couples to use in conjunction

  • with the "Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work"

  • book by Dr. John Gottman.

  • Laura is a master trainer for the program which

  • has trained thousands of people to offer the Seven Principles

  • Program in their communities across six continents.

  • Laura resides in Salt Lake City with her beloved

  • and very patient husband.

  • And they have a one-year-old son.

  • Welcome, Laura.

  • LAURA HECK: Thank you.

  • So what Alison didn't say is that I'm also

  • the godmother to her child.

  • So we know each other very well.

  • She is my BFF.

  • So I'm here.

  • I've given, sort of, about an hour.

  • And what I'd really like to do is just share with you

  • the CliffNotes version of the "Seven Principles

  • for Making Marriage Work."

  • I'm just curious, by kind of a show of hands or a nod

  • or a wink, how many of you have either

  • heard of Dr. John Gottman or are familiar with the "Seven

  • Principles" book?

  • OK.

  • How many of you have actually seen him live,

  • seen him present live?

  • OK.

  • I am not going to be as charismatic or funny

  • or brilliant as John Gottman, but I will certainly

  • try to give you as much information in as short

  • a period of time as possible.

  • So as Alison had mentioned, the reason

  • why I'm here and speaking on the Seven Principles

  • is that I have had the pleasure of co-developing the Seven

  • Principles Program, which is really a training

  • program for training professionals

  • all around the world to work with couples using this

  • as their main criteria, their main curriculum.

  • And so I know the Seven Principles inside and out.

  • And I just taught the class yesterday

  • here in Seattle, Washington.

  • And I think the next place I go is Chicago.

  • And then it just kind of continues on from there.

  • As far as questions, I think maybe

  • what would be helpful is if you have a question about something

  • that we're covering, if I notice, just as far as time

  • goes, that I have some time to take some questions,

  • I'll ask for you to come up to the mic.

  • And I might be able to take a few.

  • And if I don't get to it, hold on to your questions.

  • Hopefully you can remember it.

  • And then I'm hoping that we can cover all of them.

  • OK?

  • OK.

  • So this book has actually been in print since 1999.

  • And it just recently rolled over the $1 million mark.

  • Not million dollars, but 1 million copies sold.

  • And there was a rewrite that was done on this just one year ago.

  • And it has been translated into 20 different languages.

  • The reason why this book is so important

  • is that Dr. Gottman has been studying couples for 40 years.

  • He's studied over 3,000 couples.

  • And over those 40 years, he has been

  • able to distill down as much information

  • as possible into seven principles which I'm hoping

  • I'm able to get through all seven for you

  • so that you can go home in whatever relationship you have,

  • and you can begin to apply some of these principles

  • for making relationships work.

  • The nice part about Dr. Gottman's principles

  • is that it's not just about intimate relationships,

  • although those are the ones that he was studying.

  • You can directly apply a lot of these principles

  • to coworker relationships, to the relationships

  • with your children, to the relationships

  • with your parents.

  • Any relationship that you have.

  • Because it's really about how to communicate in a way

  • that is truly hearing your partner.

  • It's about being able to work through problem-solving

  • and how to have a meaningful connection with another person.

  • OK.

  • So what I'd like to start out by doing

  • is to just give you a brief synopsis

  • as far as Dr. Gottman's research and how

  • he came to come about all of this information.

  • So Dr. Gottman originally started out

  • as a mathematics major at MIT.

  • And he was actually young when he started.

  • But he had a roommate.

  • And this roommate was studying psychology.

  • And I don't know how many of you enjoy psychology,

  • but John was looking at his math books

  • and had decided that whatever his roommate was studying

  • was more fun than what he was studying, which I don't blame.

  • So he promptly finished up his mathematics degree

  • and then went in to become a psychologist.

  • So not only does he have this firm foundation in numbers,

  • he became a researcher, but he also

  • has this firm foundation in psychology.

  • So we have this amazing combination in this math wizard

  • that was interested in relationships

  • but could also study really, really well

  • and definitively defining what it is that relationships,

  • makes them work.

  • So Dr. Gottman went from MIT, and then he went over

  • to the University of Indiana.

  • And he started working with his best friend, Bob Levinson.

  • So Dr. Gottman says at the time that his relationships were not

  • going so hot at the time.

  • And Bob Levinson and him were interested in

  • good relationships with women.

  • But at the time, Bob said, we can either

  • research good relationships or we can have them.

  • And right now, we're researchers.

  • So the two of them set out to discover in,

  • I think he would say somewhat of a selfish way, what is it that

  • makes good relationships work.

  • And they wanted to study relationships

  • in a way that had never been done before.

  • It's very difficult to predict behavior in one person.

  • But Dr. Gottman wanted to predict behavior

  • with two people.

  • So they would bring couples in to a laboratory setting

  • and within eight hours of the couple being apart,

  • he would have the two of them sit side by side.

  • And they would hook them up to monitors

  • that would study how fast their hearts were

  • beating at the time.

  • They would see how much they were sweating by testing

  • the palms of their hands.

  • They had monitors underneath the chairs that would measure

  • how much they would fidget.

  • They were called jiggle-ometers.

  • And then he would just ask for these couples,

  • I simply want for you to just catch up.

  • Tell me about your day.

  • What have you been doing?

  • So couples would turn to one another

  • and they would start talking about sort

  • of the mundane things about their day.

  • Meanwhile, researchers were coding

  • their facial expressions.

  • They had cameras that were recording them.

  • And back in the day, in the '70s,

  • how large was the computer back in the '70s, right?

  • Size of a refrigerator.

  • All that computer was intended to do

  • was to take the physiological data that

  • was going on with these couples and timecode it.

  • And then he would ask for couples to switch over.

  • I want you to just choose a topic.

  • Something that the two of you haven't

  • been able to agree upon.

  • And I just want you to try to solve the problem.

  • Have this conflict conversation while we are watching you.

  • So couples start to pick a problem.

  • Maybe they're talking about the mother-in-law,

  • maybe they're talking about laundry.

  • What are things that get underneath your skin?

  • And they recorded the data.

  • So they had these two snippets of time.

  • Happy conversation, not so happy conversation.

  • Then they sent the couples away.

  • All they were looking for were patterns.

  • They really didn't have a hypothesis

  • at the time of what they were looking for,

  • but they were looking for patterns a lot

  • like early day astronomers that were looking at the stars.

  • Simply looking for something to stick out to them.

  • That was about 35 years ago.

  • 25 years ago, he goes from the University of Indiana,

  • now he's at the University of Washington.

  • And he opens up what he calls the Love Lab.

  • The BBC had sort of called it the Love Lab.

  • But what he wanted to do was he wanted

  • to see if couples were in a natural environment for 24

  • hours, what would I see.

  • What would stick out?

  • What patterns would arise?

  • So he made this one bedroom studio apartment as comfortable

  • as possible on the University of Washington's campus.

  • It overlooked the Montlake Cut, so you could

  • see the boats floating by.

  • It was a beautiful setting.

  • And he would say from Sunday at 8 o'clock in the morning

  • until Monday morning at 8 o'clock in the morning,

  • I want you to just come and hang out.

  • We will not prompt you.

  • We're not going to give you anything to do.

  • We just simply want to watch and observe you.

  • But we want this to be, like, really comfortable for you.

  • We want you to feel as if you're in a bed and breakfast.

  • We want this to be as natural as possible.

  • So couples would bring their creature comforts.

  • They would bring groceries, they would bring newspapers,

  • they would bring puzzles and games.

  • Anything they could do for 24 hours.

  • So in this bed and breakfast-like setting,

  • couples would hang out.

  • Again, they're wearing the monitor

  • so that they could see how fast their heart was beating.

  • Any time that they urinated, they would take urine samples.

  • They had a one-way mirror where researchers

  • would be back behind coding their facial expressions.

  • And when everything was said and done,

  • they would go right next door, and they

  • would have their blood drawn.

  • But Dr. Gottman assures us that it was very relaxing

  • for couples and it was a lot like a bed and breakfast.

  • So then he would send these couples home.

  • But it was a longitudinal study.

  • So meanwhile, he's collecting all of this data,

  • and he's starting to look for patterns.

  • The only way that you can look for patterns

  • is if you have this longitudinal data.

  • Where do these couples end up?

  • What do we know about these couples?

  • So he had 147 newlywed couples.

  • And then he checked back in with those newlywed couples.

  • Of those newlywed couples, 17 of them ended up divorcing.

  • What were the patterns?

  • How do we know what is distinct and different about the 130

  • couples that stayed together and what

  • is distinct and different about the 17 couples that

  • ended up divorcing?

  • So remember when I said that he was very interested in being

  • able to predict behavior.

  • So it's hard to predict behavior for two people.

  • Even more difficult than one person.

  • He was able to predict 15 out of 17 of those couples.

  • So he said those, those, those, those, those, those, those.

  • And when he checked back in with the couples, 15 out of 17.

  • So with 90% and above accuracy, that those couples

  • would end up divorcing.

  • And he repeated this study seven times

  • and still was able to predict with 90% accuracy.

  • So we know with pretty good certainty

  • what those behaviors are.

  • Are you interested in knowing what it is

  • that those couples were doing?

  • Either the ones that weren't doing so hot and the ones that

  • were doing well?

  • OK.

  • So that is the foundation of this book.