The Love Lab Experience

The Love Lab Experience is an enhanced Gottman Therapy Assessment. This unique state-of-the-art assessment is designed after John Gottman’s original research with couples.

The Love Lab 

In the mid-80s, John Gottman opened the original Love Lab at The University of Washington. He studied thousands of couples, and it is from the depth and breadth of his research that we understand the science of relationships today. 

Alysha Roll, LCSW and Mary Beth George, LPC are both certified in Gottman Method™ couples therapy and are Master Trainers and Consultants for The Gottman Institute. They have received specialized training in administering the newly re-designed Love Lab Assessment.


Alysha Roll, Julie and John Gottman, Mary Beth George

The Original Love Lab Assessment  

In his original research, Gottman videotaped couples in an apartment laboratory. By carefully analyzing the tapes he was able to study facial expressions, words chosen and the couples interactions. Additionally, he studied physiological parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure and skin conductivity. This rigorous research has shown us that patterns exist in couples who struggle and those who stay together in long term, stable relationships. Most notably, by studying the degree of positivity and negativity in couples conflict discussions, he found that low risk couples have a magic ratio of five positive interactions for every negative interaction. Gottman’s mathematical models for the science of love relationships remain unparalleled.

How It Works Today

Key elements of the original Love Lab research can be incorporated into the assessment process for couples seeking therapy, giving both clinician and client a deeper look into the couples functioning.   In addition to completing the online questionnaire in our standard assessment, couples will create two short videos that will be analyzed to determine the positivity/negativity in their relationship. These videotapes can be done in the comfort and privacy of your home and uploaded to GottmanConnect, or they can be created in a therapy session with your therapist. After creating the videos, each partner will watch their video and use a “rating dial” to assess positivity or negativity in the discussion.

State-of-the-art analysis create a more refined treatment plan for therapy. The report yields information such as:

  •  The degree of positivity or negativity and its impact on friendship and intimacy
  •   If the couple can repair conflicts or if they are stuck in power struggles 
  •  If repair attempts are effective or failing 
  • The impact of negativity from betrayals 
  • How the ratio of positivity to negativity affects conflict discussions
  •           Prediction of how positivity or negativity will affect the future of the relationship

Couples will receive a report explaining the findings from the assessment, as well as a detailed explanation and treatment plan from their therapist.

Couples can opt for the enhanced assessment in either live or virtual therapy. Couples who do marathon intensive sessions will receive the enhanced Love Lab Assessment as part of their marathon package.