Developmental Model of Couples Therapy
is an approach that focuses on the growth and development of each partner individually in addition to the growth and development of the couple as a unit. This approach assumes long-term relationships naturally change over time as they progress through a series of predictable developmental stages.
What is the developmental model of couples therapy?
Developed by Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson in the 1980s, the developmental model of couples therapy does not focus on pathology but instead emphasizes the role of development in relationships.
This model compares adulthood development of relationships to childhood procession through typical developmental stages. It is natural for relationships to change as partners spend more time together and develop as a team.
Because partners do not always change in the same way or at the same time, potential challenges may develop over the course of the relationship. Conflict may arise when couples are not able to manage a new developmental stage, for example, or when each partner is in a different stage.