Principle-Based Integrative Therapy with Couples: Theory and a Case Example

Shalonda Kelly, Kiara C. Wesley, Traci P. Maynigo, Yasmine Omar, Steven M. Clark, Simone C. Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Principle-Based Integrative Therapy (PBIT) framework harnesses the principles of change underlying each theoretical model within integrative couple therapy treatments. PBIT has commonalities with other integrative approaches, and additional advantages stemming from its four tenets that guide therapists in combining strengths across models and overcoming each of their deficiencies. Tenet 1 advises that each model adds a core principle or mechanism of action that other models do not automatically address. Tenet 2 focuses on how techniques of one model may actualize the principles of other models. Tenet 3 ensures complementarity and a lack of conflict across principles. A case study and common case considerations are presented to illustrate how Tenets 1–3 can work in integrating Cognitive-Behavioral, Multicultural, and Emotionally Focused Therapy models in working with a couple. Finally, Tenet 4 advocates for the use of models and empirically supported principles that also have received empirical support with diverse populations. Prerequisites and training implications for PBIT, and future clinical and research directions to further the utility of PBIT are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-549
Number of pages18
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Couple Therapy
  • Diversity
  • Integration
  • Multiculturalism
  • Psychotherapy Process
  • Psychotherapy Techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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