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Marital Therapy: Therapeutic Effects of the Assessment and Stabilizing the System

It is clear that there is much that can be therapeutic about the assessment procedure for some couples. Although my initial verbal contract with the couple is for an assessment only, I believe there are several ways in which what goes on between therapist and couple may prove beneficial.

THE HOLDING FUNCTION

First, the structure of the assessment and its deliberateness provide some relief from what has all too often been a strife-torn and increasingly chaotic situation. This “slowing things down” acts to contain the pain in the relationship and, as such, has a holding function.

There are some occasions when one or both spouses struggle against the imposed structure. ...

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