chapter  11
42 Pages

Couple Therapy

WithKaren B. Helmeke, Anne M. Prouty, Gary H. Bischof

In this chapter, we focus on therapy with one of the most intense and important family relationships: the intimate couple. In earlier times, this area was known as “marriage counseling” or “marital therapy.” The focus was on improving relationships between married spouses. As family forms have become increasingly diversifi ed, many have found the term “marital therapy” limiting. It does not include, for example, cohabiting couples or in some states same-sex couples who may be in committed long-term relationships. We consider a couple to be two partners who are in a serious, intimate, committed relationship, including gay, lesbian, or bisexual couples, cohabiting couples, and married couples. Thus couple therapy addresses these serious, committed relationships.