When visiting any health professional, it is important that the doctor or clinician undertake diagnostics to understand an individual’s presenting complaint. At the Couples Clinic, we routinely administer a variety of psychometric questionnaires to understand the presenting couple’s difficulties and concerns, background, as well as strengths and protective factors. These assessments help to understand the ins-and-outs of a relationship, which would ordinarily take the clinician many meetings to gather through face-to-face interaction.
The questionnaires, coupled with face-to-face meetings, help gather the appropriate background information to develop an effective treatment plan that is tailored to the presenting couple. It is rare that any two treatment plans will look alike as no two relationships are the same. The assessments help to understand the following:
– Levels of relationship satisfaction
– How the couple creates intimacy and connection
– Conflict styles
– Satisfaction with romance and sexual interaction
– Levels of loneliness in the relationship
– Degree of relationship trust and any past breaches of trust
– How each person processes and communicates emotion
– Goals and shared meaning in the relationship
– Alcohol and drug use
– Individual psychological concerns
– Knowledge of one’s partner
The psychological questionnaires are completed independently by each partner and all records are kept confidentially by the couples therapist. Assessments are normally administered either prior to the couple meeting with the couples therapist for the first time, or immediately following the initial joint meeting. They are to be completed early in therapy to ensure the therapist can clarify any responses in a one-on-one setting, prior to commencing interventions.