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(p. 489) Couple Distress 

(p. 489) Couple Distress
(p. 489) Couple Distress

Douglas K. Snyder

, Richard E. Heyman

, Stephen N. Haynes

, and Christina Balderrama-Durbin

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date: 21 October 2020

Assessment of couple distress shares basic principles of assessing individuals. However, couple assessment differs from individual assessment in that couple assessment strategies focus specifically on relationship processes and the interactions between individuals, provide an opportunity for direct observation of target complaints involving communication and other interpersonal exchanges, and must be sensitive to potential challenges unique to establishing a collaborative alliance when assessing highly distressed or antagonistic partners. This chapter focuses on the assessment of couple distress. It begins with a review of the nature of couple conflict and distress, which is followed by a review of clinical assessment instruments designed for the assessment purposes of (a) determining couple functioning, (b) case conceptualization and treatment planning, and (c) treatment monitoring and evaluation. Recommendations are included for instruments with the greatest scientific support and for assessing couple functioning in a clinically sensitive manner.

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