Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Affective Reconstructive Approach to Couple Therapy

  • Molly F. GasbarriniEmail author
  • Douglas K. Snyder
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_928

Name of the Strategy or Intervention

Affective reconstruction.


Affective reconstruction (Snyder 1999) refers to the interpretation of persistent maladaptive relationship patterns having their source in previous developmental experiences. Affective reconstruction reflects an insight-oriented approach to couple therapy and presumes that an important source of couples’ current difficulties frequently includes previous relationship injuries resulting in sustained interpersonal vulnerabilities and related defensive strategies interfering with emotional intimacy. Hence, therapeutic approaches that fail to address developmental experiences giving rise to these vulnerabilities and their associated reactivities deprive individuals of a rich resource for understanding both their own and their partner’s behaviors that could help them to depersonalize the hurtful aspects of the couple’s interactions and to adopt an empathic stance.

Theoretical Framework

Diverse approaches to examining...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California School of Professional PsychologyAlliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jessica Rohlfing Pryor
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA