Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma is an evidence-based couple therapy approach that integrates specific focus on emotion regulation and mentalizing skills building within a dyadic context prior to engaging in trauma processing within couple therapy. These processes will allow couples to be prepared for, tolerate and benefit from more traditional forms of couple therapy at their completion. This manual provides therapists with a basic framework with which to approach this work. Each section provides important information about each topic, a general outline of activities and narratives in which to engage traumatized couples, and case transcripts to illustrate the approach.
I. Introduction for Therapists 1. Rationale for Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors 2. Rationale for the Creation of a Developmental Model 3. Transference-Countertransference in Couple Therapy with Complex Trauma II. Stage 1: Establishing Context 4. Establishing Safety and the Therapeutic Alliance 5. Couple Therapy Guidelines 6. Psychoeducation (Creating a Common Goal): Trauma and Relationships 7. Psychoeducation (Creating a Common Goal): Trauma and Attachment 8. Psychoeducation (Creating a Common Goal): Sex and Sexuality 9. Psychoeducation (Creating a Common Goal): The Negative and Dyadic Traumatic Reenactment III. Stage 2: Capacity Building in the Attachment Relationship Context 10. Emotion Regulation Capacities 11. Mentalizing Capacities IV. Stage 3: Attachment Focused Dyadic Processing 12. Attachment Histories Living in the Present 13. Discolure: Telling the Stories 14. Trauma Processing in a Dyadic Context V. Stage 4: Consolidation Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C