Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Pluralistic 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_929

Name of Concept



Pluralism reflects an approach to treatment integration which holds that there is no single theoretical, epistemological, or methodological approach that is preeminent and no one, correct integrative system toward which the field of psychotherapy is evolving. Informed pluralism comprises a contextually-based approach toward therapy integration (Safran and Messer 1997). It is distinct from (a) common factors approaches emphasizing active but nonspecific components of therapeutic change processes, and (b) transtheoretical approaches attempting to translate diverse theoretical models into a single unifying language. Pluralism potentially accommodates more diverse approaches whose basic tenets defy assimilation into a common theoretical framework.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Arguments for a pluralistic approach to couple therapy are based in part on (a) the limited effectiveness of any single theoretical approach on couples’ long-term response to...

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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