Frequently Asked Questions for Couples
What is The Gottman Relationship Checkup?
The Gottman Relationship Checkup is an online assessment tool created by Drs. John and Julie Gottman in collaboration with The Gottman Institute in Seattle, Washington. The assessment is composed of 480 questions in 5 categories: Friendship and Intimacy, The Safety Scales, The Conflict Scales, The Shared Meaning System, and Individual Areas of Concern. Question topics include friendship, intimacy, conflict, finances, children, trust, commitment, drug and alcohol screenings, and individual issues that can put a relationship at risk.
Where do the questions on the assessment come from? How do we know that answering these questions can actually help our relationship?
Dr. John Gottman is a clinical psychologist who has completed more than 40 years of research on relationships and couples. Dr. Julie Gottman is a clinical psychologist who has extensive experience in private practice and teaching settings. Together, they created this research-based assessment for couples as a method for learning the strengths and challenges of a relationship and subsequently determining a strategic plan for positive change.
How long does it take to complete the assessment?
The actual time it takes to complete each questionnaire varies based on individual responses, the complexity of relationship dynamics, and the choice to use optional comment areas to provide additional information about the relationship. However, on average, you can expect it will take between one and two hours to complete the assessment.
If I don’t want to take the test all at once, can I stop taking it and resume later?
Yes! The pace and timing for completing the assessment is entirely up to you. You can answer the questionnaires all in one sitting or work on them over time. If you choose to take a break, simply log out of your profile. When you return, the system will remember where you left off and will resume at that point.
Can my partner and I see one another’s answers while I am taking the test?
No. Before you start the assessment, you will each create a separate online profile with a unique login and password. Neither of you can access the other’s information at any time, and we encourage you not to share your login information with your partner in order to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the questionnaire.
While taking the assessment, do I have to answer all the questions or can I skip the ones I don’t want to answer?
For coaching to be successful, it is important that your coach understands all of the issues occurring in the relationship. With this in mind, it is not possible to skip questions or to shorten the assessment. However, many questions have optional comment areas intended for clarification or for further explanation of your responses. These can be used as a way to explain your thoughts about specific questions – positive or negative – and to add any important details you would like your coach to have about a particular question, topic, or concern.
Will I get a copy of my results?
The scores and analysis are for your coach’s use and will not be given to you because the results are interpreted in the context of all the other information obtained about you during the assessment process. This includes joint and individual interviews and your coach’s observations. The results of the questionnaires do not stand alone. A second reason is that each of you will set up a private login account so you can feel free to answer the questions openly and honestly without concern about what your partner may think about your answers. Your coach will discuss the results of the entire assessment with you and suggest a treatment plan for improving and strengthening your relationship.
How do I access The Gottman Relationship Checkup?
A clinician or coach must invite you.
I want to use The Gottman Relationship Checkup to assess my relationship without going to a coach. Can I do this?
No. The Gottman Relationship Checkup is a tool designed for use by clinicians/coaches in a professional setting with couples.
Can I see a sample of the questions that will be asked?
Yes. Click this link to see the sample questions. (https://checkup.gottman.com/couple/questionnaire/preview)
The Gottman Relationship Checkup is comprised of five sections:
- Friendship and Intimacy: relationship satisfaction, emotional connection, romance, and admiration
- The Safety Scales: trust, chaos, commitment, and emotional philosophies
- The Conflict Scales: stress, relationship harshness, and conflict management
- The Shared Meaning System: shared rituals, values, and goals
- Individual Areas of Concern: individual issues, safety, sex, depression, drug and alcohol use, violence, anxiety, and other issues that may need psychological or psychiatric help
The questionnaire takes approximately two hours to complete. You can take a break any time by logging out and back in, returning to where you left off. When both you and your partner have completed the questionnaire, your clinician receives the results. They can then review it with you and provide actionable recommendations for optimal relationship health.