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For World Mental Health Day: Reading What John Gottman Reads

I am a huge fan of John and Julie Gottman, the couple who founded The Gottman Institute and have created so many effective, evidence-based interventions for couple therapy.

I pre-order John Gottman’s latest book, The Science of Trust, and devoured it as soon as it came out this summer.

When I really admire an author, I get curious about what they read and who they admire. And Gottman is very open about naming the people who have had an impact on his own work and discussing their ideas at length.

John Gottman considers the psychologist Dan Wile his mentor, so of course I wanted to read Wile, whose book, After the Honeymoon, turns out to be a treasure trove of wisdom and reassurance.

Here are some of my favorite quotes (and I’ve collected more on my website):

After the Honeymoon, by Daniel B. Wile

  • At the heart of our difficulties is this focus on laying blame. We don’t realize how much this hidden blame – especially self-blame – interferes with our ability to think and talk effectively about problems. (p 9)
  • Imagine the difference it would make if we were to find the hidden reasonableness in our own and our partner’s behavior. (p 10)
  • There is value, when choosing a long-term partner, in realizing that you will be choosing, along with that person, a particular set of unresolvable problems that you’ll be grappling with for the next ten, twenty or even fifty years…Each relationship has its own set of unsolvable problems that can best be dealt with by developing a shared nonjudgmental vantage point from which to view them. (p 36)
  • Much of our mental life is devoted to trying to talk ourselves into or out of our feelings. (p 166)
  • Our partners are continually struggling to make sense of their feelings, which is why they say some of the weird things that they do.We are continually struggling to make sense of our feelings, which is why we say some of the weird things we do.  (p 176)

For World Mental Health Day: Reading What John Gottman Reads

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."

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APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2011). For World Mental Health Day: Reading What John Gottman Reads. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 18, 2019, from


Last updated: 10 Oct 2011
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