you will be required to write a 2-3-page double-spaced paper that includes the following:
1) Selection and summary of key concepts from the course material in your own words that may help explain the couple’s relational dynamics,
2) Identification of strengths and weaknesses of the couple and proposal of relational changes based on a common therapeutic model described in Chapter 12 (‘Improving Relationships’) that may enhance the couple’s satisfaction/commitment,
3) Brief summary of your main points in a conclusion paragraph
Key Course Concepts (approximately 1 ½ pages)
*Choose two of the following underlined concepts from course readings to explain the couple’s relational dynamics. Below each underlined concept you will find a list of specific sub-concepts that will be useful in helping you argue your main points.
Consider what you know about the couple – how might the underlined concepts help explain what makes the couple ‘tick’? How might these concepts influence the way the couple behaves/interacts? Use at least two sub-concepts (additional terms/ideas listed under the underlined concepts) as supporting evidence for your arguments. For example, if you select personality and personal history as your first main concept, you should also include two of its related sub-concepts (e.g., dependency regulation model and family of origin) in your description.
Personality and Personal History
‘Big Five’, dependency regulation model, family of origin, intergenerational transmission effects, early experiences with caregivers (attachment theory and attachment behavior system),
Communication and the Promotion of Intimacy
Relationship maintenance, intimacy process model, empathy, self-expansion model, social integration, social support (visible and invisible), broaden and build theory, capitalization, forgiveness (impact stage, meaning stage, moving on stage), sexual satisfaction
Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Affect, structural model of marital interaction, cognitive editing, reactivity hypothesis, demand/withdraw pattern, polarization
Beliefs, Values, and Relational Behavior
Broad beliefs about relationships (e.g., romance/passion, practicality, relationship growth/fixation), expectations, locus of control (internal vs. external), attitudes, sex role traditionalism, standards, ideals, ideal standards model, perceptual confirmation, behavioral confirmation, self-fulfilling prophecy, stereotype accuracy effect, culture, media influences, personal experience
Information Processing, Reasoning, and Understanding
Motive, bias, motivated reasoning, enhancement motive, enhancement bias, accuracy motive, diagnosticity bias, confirmation bias, justification bias, self-serving bias, assimilation, selective attention, empathy accuracy model, memory bias, attributions, locus dimension, stability dimension, flexible standards, cognitive restructuring, reinterpretation, refutation, social comparisons (upward and downward), derogating alternative partners, cognitive complexity, commitment calibration hypothesis
Strengths/Weaknesses of the Couple (approximately 1 ½ pages)
*This is where your perspective as a hypothetical ‘relationship therapist’ will really come into play; use what you know about the selected couple to highlight the couple’s strengths/weaknesses and provide recommendations for improving the couple’s relationship using a model proposed in Chapter 12 (‘Improving Relationships’).
Identify at least one relationship strength the couple possesses (g., does the couple excel at relationship maintenance, communication, conflict resolution, etc.) – Provide clear evidence of this strength by citing a specific interaction or relationship example that showcases the strength.
Identify at least one relationship weakness the couple possesses (g., does the couple do a poor job of maintaining the relationship, communicating, resolving conflict, etc.) – Provide clear evidence of this weakness by citing a specific interaction or relationship example that showcases the weakness.
Provide several (2-3) recommendations for how the couple can further improve their relationship based on one common therapeutic intervention (g., psychodymaic, systems, behavioral, emotion) described in Chapter 12. Similar to above, additional terms/ideas listed under the main intervention should serve as supporting evidence for how the selected concept applies to the couple. You should select at least two of the additional terms/ideas to support the main intervention.
Object relations couples therapy, projection, projective identification, containment, introjective identification
Behavior exchange, communication training, problem-solving training, cognitive-behavioral couples therapy, integrative behavioral couples therapy, empathic joining, unified detachment, tolerance building
Emotionally focused couples therapy, primary emotions, secondary emotions, de-escalation of negative cycles, shaping new cycles of responsiveness and accessibility, consolidation and integration
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