FIVE LEVELS OF INTERVENTION
IN COUPLES' THERAPY
1. Acknowledge/validate each partner's points of view and feelings
without necessarily agreeing with them. Get them to stop blaming, invalidating, closing
down possibilities, and inviting, suggesting or allowing nonaccountability.
2. Get people to translate blame (attributions of bad intentions/bad
character), vague, mind-reading or characterizing (attributions of unchangeable and
determining personality traits) statements/questions into "videotalk."
3. Gather video descriptions of patterns of interaction involved in
or around the complaint and get both or either partner to change their part of the
*Change the location, time, nonverbals, etc.
*If it works, don't fix it; if it doesn't, do something different
*Import workable patterns from earlier in the relationship
4. Help to determine clear (videotalk) boundaries/limits for
acceptable and unacceptable actions.
*Coach the person whose boundaries are violated to give consequences
when boundaries are violated.
*Coach the person who has violated the boundaries to acknowledge and
be accountable for the violation, reestablish trust and make amends.
*If appropriate, help the couple or individual design and carry out
a healing ritual.
5. Do individual work when an individual within a couple has
something they want to work on that would be relevant to achieving the goal(s) of the