Brief Therapy for Couples: Helping Partners Help Themselves
1 Jan 2003
W. Kim Halford
This book presents a flexible, evidence-based framework for treating couples effectively in as few as one or two (and as many as 25) sessions of highly focused therapeutic work. Providing step-by-step guidelines for assessment and intervention, Halford shows how to rapidly negotiate relationship goals and therapy structure, establish and maintain therapeutic momentum, deal with setbacks and destructive arguments, and more. The focus is on helping each partner acquire the skills to modify his or her individual behavior in the service of joint relationship goals. In its briefest form, the therapy comprises a collaborative approach to assessment that develops the couple's commitment to self-guided change. Some couples can then proceed with minimal further input from the clinician, while others may benefit from additional sessions of relationship psychoeducation or more traditional therapist-guided change. The book includes sample client handouts and forms addressing such practical areas as self-evaluation of communication skills, problem solving, and conflict management.