It refers to diverse set of interventions provided to partners in an intimate relationship. It is intended to reduce various aspects of relationship distress and promote relationship satisfaction and well being. Marital therapy comprises an essential component of mental health services.
Couple based interventions have also been developed to treat couples in which one or both partners struggle with individual emotional or behavioral disorders.
Distressed couples are those having higher rates of negative verbal and non-verbal exchanges (disagreements, criticism, hostility etc)
Symptoms may include:
- Higher levels of reciprocity in negative behavior.
- Lengthier chains of negative behavior once initiated.
- Higher ratios of negative to positive behaviors.
- Lower rates of positive verbal and non verbal behaviors.