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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert Paperback – May 16 2000


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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert + The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships + Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 16 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805794
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Bob Fancher on Jan. 22 2003
Format: Paperback
I practiced psychotherapy in New York City for fourteen years. Though I had training as a marriage counselor in addition to my main training as a psychotherapist, I turned away more couples than I accepted. Most years, I didn't take on more than one or two couples, if that.
There were many reasons for this, but fundamentally it was that marriage counseling rarely works. (About thirty-five to forty percent of the time, and half of those relapse, according to the best research.) I had made a vow when I went into training that I would never take on patients that I did not honestly believe I could help. (I can't say that I kept that vow sterling, being human--but I tried.) Most couples, I believed, could not be helped, so I didn't want to take their money or waste their time.
In hard, cold truth, most of what most marriage counselors teach is just made up. Concocted. Without any sound research base. That's just a fact. When I was in training, I was utterly shocked at this. I was appalled at the simple-minded dogmatism of marriage-counseling orthodoxy.
Most mental health care has a flimsier basis in research than its proponents admit (or even know, often), but in marriage counseling, the paucity of good research was almost total. (This evaluation of the low scientific basis of mental health care is not some private crackpot theory of mine; I wrote it up in my book "Cultures of Healing," which was published by the book-publishing arm of Scientific American in 1995 and will be republished, under a different title--"Health and Suffering in America: The Context and Content of Mental Health Care"--next year by Transaction Publishers/Rutgers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13 2004
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine lent me a copy of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and said: "What do you think of this?" I read it and thought I would share my answer which is - it's a "fun read". Any author who calls his university's marital research laboratory a "love lab" has to have a sense of humor! And while this is true, this book is by no means frivolous.
John M. Gottman has crafted a highly readable, practical guide for "making marriages work" that is based on over sixteen years of extensive academic research. Based on what he has learned, he debunks the myths most commonly articulated as causes for failed marriages, talks about six warning signs he uses to predict divorce with an accuracy of 91% and then suggests seven principles he finds have been useful for couples interested in strengthening their commitment and their marriage.
Interestingly, Mr. Gottman discredits the notion of many traditional marriage counselors (a group to which he confesses to have been a member at an earlier stage of his career) who are quick to suggest that "an enduring, happy marriage" is all about good communications and "learning to resolve your conflicts." The problem, Gottman says, is that this approach just doesn't work.
Mr. Gottman says the simple truth, based on his research, is that "happy marriages are based on a deep friendship" - mutual respect, enjoyment of each other's company. This deep friendship is something he says can be developed and he provides many, many exercises related to each of his principles for couples to use as a framework for doing so.
As I was reading this book, I thought of another book I have read recently that might also be of interest to those looking for magic in their relationships.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Csiki on Feb. 26 2010
Format: Paperback
I picked this up because it was on display on a Valentine's stand and started thumbing through it out of curiosity. Ended up purchasing it because it looked interesting. I'm not even married but it definitely applies to any couple. And why not get advice on making a marriage last before you're married rather than when it's in trouble?! The authors have some great views on communication and the dynamics of a relationship. Furthermore, the book doesn't just give opinions and advice; it's very hands on and gives interesting assignments for you and your partner to get to know each other at the deepest levels. Plus it's a super easy read! I would totally recommend this book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31 2002
Format: Paperback
Greetings,
I've read the text of "Seven Principles", and I am very much
dismayed at how aggressively John Gottman has displayed his work. He should have titled it "My Seven Principles", implying
that he has sole ownership of the research accumulated. I don't
find his methodology entirely substantive, especially the so-called "Love Lab" that he cites in his works as being the end-all and be-all of analyzing personal interactions between partners or married couples. Any monkey can demonstrate whatsoever behavior pleases it when surveyed by a one-way (sorry John, not "two way") window, and video cameras. To even pretend that this represents a realistic setting to study relationships, then claim derivations from it like "Seven Principles" as being the key to fame and marital relation fortune strikes me as vanity at best, and obsequious at the least.
The book is decent enough - it does lay out some useful cues and information, while deriding current psychotheraputical practices such as "active communications", in favor of a lab of eager observers pouring over videotapes and one-way window transactions. I think the part I particularly find offensive is that Gottman knows all syndrome, which is self-evident in this text, and even more in his "Relationship Cure", now just going into paperback. I would not recommend the latter under any circumstances - it made me angry and offended just to read
this crap, much less take the so-called tests.
The Seven Principles does warrant a look-see, as long as one takes into account the ego of the author, the egregious situation of the so-called love lab and what it presents to the voyeur (sorry, investigator). There are some good things in this book, but I have to admit ego-suppresion was a major factor in my slow read of this so-called treatise. It seems Dr. Gottman is more eager to match Oprah's earnings, than to
talk true psychology in the books I have read.
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