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What is the Sound Relationship House?

The sound relationship house was created by Dr. John Gottman, focusing on what goes into creating a foundationally secure partnership. In doing so, he created the Sound Relationship House, with two walls (trust and commitment) and seven floors that describe what a foundationally secure relationship consists of. The seven floors of the sound relationship house are creating shared meaning, making life dreams come true, managing conflict, having a positive perspective, turning towards instead of away, sharing fondness and admiration, and building love maps.

How does the Sound Relationship House describe a relationship?

The first three levels of the house (Building love maps, Sharing Fondness and admiration, and Turning Towards) are essential to a couple’s friendship. These three levels build knowledge of each other’s world, building a culture of appreciation and fondness, and how a couple turns towards one another to meet their bids for connection. The last four levels afterwards (The Positive Perspective, Managing Conflict, Making Life Dreams Come True, and creating a shared meaning) identify how the couple engages with one another to resolve issues and create meaning within their experiences.

Relationships are complex. The Sound relationship house helps identify the strengths within a relationship while also helping to identify where the relationship can use some improvements in a more concrete and tangible way.

How can I learn more about the Sound Relationship House and use it to improve my relationship?

The sound relationship house can be utilized to reflect on your relationship. If interested in learning more, the Gottman institute has a free newsletter called the Marriage Minute that contains one topic per email that can deepen your friendship or relationship. The Sound Relationship House is also used by clinicians who practice couples therapy to guide couples in further strengthening their relationship and allow them to reevaluate what their commitment to the relationship looks like. If you are interested in beginning couples therapy, you can submit an inquiry through our insurance verification form.

This page is also part of the Roamers Therapy Glossary; a collection of mental-health related definitions that are written by our therapists.

While our offices are currently located at the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location.