Title

It Takes Two? An Exploration of Processes and Outcomes in a Two-Session Couple Intervention

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Volume

42

Issue

3

Publisher

Wiley

Publication Date

2015

First Page

423

Last Page

437

DOI

DOI: 10.1111/jmft.12144

Abstract

Although relationship distress is common, couples often forego professional help due to concerns such as time constraints, financial costs, and stigma. The two-session relationship checkup is an alternative format of couple intervention developed to address these concerns. In this qualitative study, we interviewed 20 coupled participants and six clinicians to examine the checkup's processes and outcomes. The phenomenological themes that emerged revealed sequential processes by which this format works. Couple themes included client motivation, the therapeutic relationship, and therapeutic change in terms of perceptions and behaviors—particularly with regard to communication. Clinician data largely mirrored these themes. The results suggest the intervention addressed barriers to help-seeking and may be a viable selective option for at-risk couples.