Therapeutic Assessment with couples



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Finn (2007) recently outlined procedures for applying Therapeutic Assessment (TA) techniques to work with couples. The current study used a time-series design to follow three heterosexual couples as they took part in a TA intervention. Participants were couples who were involved in ongoing couples therapy at the time of the study, but who felt they were not making satisfactory progress in therapy. Participants completed brief, daily measures of relationship satisfaction before, during, and after the TA. In addition, couples completed longer, standardized measures of relationship satisfaction, psychological symptomatology, and therapy progress. Qualitative feedback about the TA was also elicited from couples and their therapists. A time-series analysis revealed that all six participants reported significant improvement on at least some daily measures of relationship satisfaction, and that many of these improvements were sustained over a four-week follow-up period. In addition, four of the six participants reported fewer psychological symptoms at follow-up. Finally, qualitative feedback from participants revealed that all three couples and their couples therapists found the TA intervention to be a largely positive, useful experience.