Process of Couples Therapy

After completing the review of the materials, write a reflective paper on couples therapy by specifically examining therapeutic alliance and, using enactments and current couple therapy research. Include in your paper the following:

Identify at least two principles that you judge to be particularly beneficial to use in your work with couples based on the information that is presented in the articles on therapeutic alliance. The intention here is for you to consider general guidelines for working with couples and building therapeutic rapport.

Evaluate the usefulness of the enactments process in working with reactive clients. Specifically, think of a client or couple that you know personally, and then consider how it might work to use the five-stage enactment process with this couple. How would it help? How might it pose a challenge?

Evaluate the information in the assigned readings and discuss either a) one development in the field of couple therapy that constitutes a particular benefit to clients or clinicians that work with couples, or b) one area of research that you feel is greatly needed for further development of our work with couples.

Summarize your responses to these ideas and their applicability to working with couples, now or in the future.


Gurman, A. S. (2008) Clinical handbook of couple therapy. Ch. 14-17

Bowman, L. & Fine, M. (2000). Client perceptions of couples therapy: Helpful and unhelpful aspects.

Butler, M. H., & Gardner, B. C. (2003). Adapting enactments to couple reactivity: Five development stages.

Fawcett, E. B., Hawkins, A. J., Blanchard, V. L., Carroll, J. S. (2010). Do premarital education programs really work? A meta-analytic study.

Garfield, R. (2004). The therapeutic alliance in couples therapy: Clinical considerations.

Hertlein, K. M., & Piercy, F. P. (2012). Essential elements of Internet infidelity treatment.

Johnson, S., & Lebow, J. (2000). The “coming of age” of couple therapy: A decade review.

Marital Events of Americans: 2009 (ACS-13)
2009 Census Data on Marriage.pdf.pdf


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