There has been little effort by behavior therapists to develop couple interventions that view marriage from a content-relevant or developmental perspective. Consequently, we have delineated ways in which a perspective of intimate relationships including individual factors and dyadic development might guide the enhancement of traditional behavioral couples therapy (TBCT) with novel and improved techniques that will ultimately allow us to reach a wider range of distressed couples than our current interventions allow. Specifically, we examined the potential benefits to intervention that could occur by considering the impact of individual factors on relationship quality, using the literature on attachment patterns as an example. Further, we have discussed the potential gains to couple interventions that could occur by considering the impact of dyadic development on relationship satisfaction. We first addressed gradual changes in marriage, using intimacy as an example. Next we examined “stage of marriage” issues, using child behavior problems as an example. Finally, we considered whether or not a problem was chronic. Throughout, we have proposed utilizing TBCT as a starting point, and considering ways to enhance TBCT specifically, as it is the marital therapy for which we have the most information and empirical support.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/erika_lawrence/16/