Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Craig Shealy

A. Renee Staton

Lee Sternberger


This dissertation details the creation and implementation of a new model of psychological assessment with partnered dyads, Therapeutic Assessment with Couples (TAC). As research continues to document the link between individual and relational/marital well-being (Jaremka, Glaser, Malarkey, & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2013; Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001; Sollenberger, et al., 2013), the cultivation of healthy practices from an interpersonal, romantic context becomes ever more crucial. Reviews of the shifting landscape of love and marriage in the U.S. are offered, along with compelling data concerning both the positive and negative implications associated with processes of partnering as well as relevant literature concerning Collaborative / Therapeutic Assessment models and techniques. Measurements within the assessment battery are then introduced, as is the four-session outline of the intervention. Based on constant comparison and word count analyses, the TAC program appears to enhance relational and marital practices vis-à-vis increased awareness of self, other, and relationship, various forms of intimacy, communication skills, and feelings of hope. Findings indicate that the TAC method can be utilized with a range of couples (i.e. non-distressed and distressed) presenting with various treatment goals, such as relationship enhancement, conflict identification, and / or tailored guides to begin couples therapy. Following the presentation of results, implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.



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