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Keywords:

  • couple therapy;
  • integrative therapy;
  • affect;
  • development;
  • insight;
  • psychodynamic

Couple therapists confront a tremendous diversity of individual and relationship difficulties characterizing couples in distress. This article describes a hierarchical model for structuring interventions from an informed pluralistic approach. Special consideration is given to affective reconstruction or interpretation of recurrent maladaptive relationship patterns evolving from developmental processes. Theoretical assumptions underlying affective reconstruction are presented along with specific therapeutic techniques and criteria for their implementation. Affective reconstruction of maladaptive relationship themes is contrasted with alternative psychodynamic and developmental approaches. The broader pluralistic approach advocated here is also contrasted with alternative integrative models. Discussion concludes with implications of an informed pluralistic approach for research and clinical practice.