Frequently Asked Questions for Clinicians

What is The Gottman Relationship Checkup based on?

As clinicians we seek a relationship profile that can measure the very specific strengths and challenges that our clients are facing in their relationship and in their individual lives. Dr. Gottman's lab began designing many of these assessment scales in 1980, but it has taken over four decades of hard work and diligent research to harness this knowledge into a streamlined assessment tool. That is the accomplishment of the Sound Relationship House Theory and other measures of The Gottman Relationship Checkup.

Before we could build this tool, we needed to know, beyond all doubt, that these scales accurately measure what they purport to measure. For example, if there is a challenge in Fondness and Admiration for one partner but not the other, we needed to be confident that we would actually see less respect and more contempt in a SPAFF coding of the couple’s Conflict Interaction and/or a Buehlam Coding of the couple’s Oral History Interview. We are delighted to be able to report that this is now indeed the case. To be more practical, we also needed to be able to shorten the scales so that taking these assessments would not be so tedious to couples. We have now also accomplished this. These scales are currently the only scales in existence that accomplish all of these goals.

What is the process for sending the assessment to a couple?
This can done in four easy steps!
How do I apply to become a member?
To apply to become a member of the Gottman Relationship Checkup, click here.
How much does it cost to apply?
Membership to The Gottman Relationship Checkup is free. Once you have been approved, there is a $29 fee per couple. This can be paid by you or by your client. This cost covers automatic, digital scoring of the assessment, as well as clinical feedback and specific recommendations for intervention written by Drs. John and Julie Gottman.
Do I have to be trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy?
No. However, training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy will enhance your ability to use The Gottman Relationship Checkup. The core Gottman Assessments are taught in the Level 1 Training. If you are interested in learning more about our professional training program, click here.
How long does it take couples to complete the questionnaires?
The actual time it takes for couples to complete the assessment varies based on individual response time, the complexity of relationship dynamics, and the use of optional comment areas to provide additional information about the relationship. However, on average, you can expect it will take each person one to two hours to complete the assessment.
If my clients don’t want to take the test all at once, can they stop taking the test and resume it later?
Yes! The pace and timing for the completion of the assessment is entirely up to them. Each partner completes his or her assessment individually, and can choose whether to complete the questionnaires all in one sitting or to work on them in increments over time. If they choose to take a break, they can simply log out. Upon their return, the system will remember where they left off and resume at that point.
Can either partner see the other’s answers while taking the test?
No. Once you invite your clients to take the Gottman Relationship Checkup, they will need to create a personal profile before beginning the assessment. Their password is specific to their information and responses. Neither partner can access the other’s information at any time unless profile information and passwords are shared. However, we strongly discourage collaboration in order to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the questionnaire.
Can a client skip some of the questions or not answer certain sections of the assessment?
The intent of the assessment is that all of the questions are answered. This will allow you to receive a more comprehensive picture of their relationship and also to have the best success in your therapeutic interventions. Many questions have optional comment areas intended for clarification or explanation of responses. This will allow couples to add any important details that they would like you to have about a particular question, topic, or concern.
If I have clients that don’t want to do their assessment on the computer, can I print out the questionnaires instead?
If you have clients that don’t want to do an online assessment, then consider using the previous written versions of the assessment instead. You can download them in PDF form here. The Gottman Relationship Checkup assessment is not intended to be printed nor are the questionnaires in a printer-friendly format.
How soon will I get the couple’s results after they finish the questionnaires?
Immediately after the second partner completes his or her assessment, you will receive an email with a link to the completed analysis for that couple.
If only one partner completes the questionnaire, will I get their results? Or do both partners have to finish the assessment?
For the analysis to be completed, both partners have to complete the assessment.
What do I say if the couple wants a copy of their results? What if just one person wants the results, but the other does not?
We strongly recommend that you do not provide a printed copy of the results to couples. These assessments require sensitivity as well as clinical wisdom to use them to provide a helpful therapeutic roadmap.
Is the Gottman Relationship Checkup compliant with HIPAA?
What security measures are in place for the Relationship Checkup?
This site uses 256-bit SSL encryption to secure your connection. No personally identifiable health information is ever transmitted via email. The software the site runs on is actively monitored and kept up-to-date with prompt application of the latest security patches.
Where can I find the norms, reliability, and validity data for the assessment?
Each of the questionnaires provided in The Gottman Relationship Checkup has been created as a unique measure of the couple’s relationship. As such, many sources have been considered and the norms, reliability, and validity data can be found in Dr. Gottman’s many academic journal articles. Complete citations for the references included in the assessment can be found here.
I have used the Gottman standard written assessment package in the past. Why are some of these questionnaires different?
This online tool has been adapted from the paper version and has been revised with the addition of new questionnaires custom-made for the online format. The online version provides you, the clinician, with a comprehensive assessment, automatic scoring, and a recommended comprehensive treatment plan for your clients, and saves you time and effort while also improving accuracy.