Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Four Session Assessment in Couple Therapy, The

  • Anthony L. ChambersEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_679

Name and Type of Assessment Procedure

The Four Session Evaluation is a semi-structured interview procedure that is used both as an intervention and as an assessment in the first four sessions of couple therapy.

Introduction

Couple problems involve multiple factors that the therapist needs to understand including the individual, the relationship, the environmental contexts in which the individuals and the relationship operate within, as well as the bidirectional influences of each (Stanton and Welsh 2011). In an attempt to embrace and disentangle that complexity, many therapists use a format commonly referred to as the four session evaluation (Chambers 2012; Karpel 1994). This interview model is transtheoretical and systemic; thus, it can be used with any theoretical orientation.

Developers

Mark Karpel (1994), to the best knowledge available, was the first person to write on this procedure in his book, Evaluating Couples. Since then, although other practitioners have used a similar...

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References

  1. Chambers, A. L. (2008). Premarital counseling with middle class African Americans: The forgotten group. In M. Rastogi & V. Thomas (Eds.), Multicultural couple therapy. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Chambers, A. L. (2012). A systemically infused, integrative model for conceptualizing couples’ problems: The Four Session evaluation. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 1(1), 31–47.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chambers, A. L., & Lebow, J. (2008). Common and unique factors in assessing African American couples. In L. L. Abate (Ed.), Toward a science of clinical psychology: Laboratory evaluations and interventions. New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Chambers, A. L., & Kravitz, A. K. (2011). Understanding the disproportionately low marriage rate among African Americans: An amalgam of sociological and psychological constraints. Family Relations, 60, 648–660.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2011.00673.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  7. Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (1995). The longitudinal course of marital quality and stability: A review of theory, method, and research. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 3–34.  https://doi.org/10.1037/00332909.118.1.3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Karpel, M. A. (1994). Evaluating couples: A handbook for practitioners. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  9. Sperry, L. (2005). Case conceptualization: A strategy for incorporating individual, couple and family dynamics in the treatment process. American Journal of Family Therapy, 33, 353–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Stanton, M., & Welsh, R. (2011). Specialty competencies in couple and family psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern University, Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies, Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  • Diana Semmelhack
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Midwestern UniversityDowners GroveUSA