ABSTRACT

Couples come to TCCR, to other clinics, and to private therapists when aspects of their relationship have broken down so that one or both partners are unhappy and at a loss for how to make things better. In recent decades, theories about how to help troubled couples have become more complex and detailed as they have attempted to match the complexity and specificity of problems that therapists and clients confront. As the field of couple therapy made significant gains over the past six decades, an alternative pathway for troubled couples emerged. This path, involving preventive strategies for helping couples, was guided by the strong belief that it is both possible and desirable to intervene early as relationship processes are unfolding, to prevent severe relationship distress from taking hold, or to reduce the severity and aftermath of couple dysfunction when it occurs. The preventive intervention pathway is the main focus of this chapter.