The Couples Therapy Field Lacks a Way to Prioritize Where to Start with Multi-Problem Couples

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Highly experienced couples therapists learn, through clinical trial and error, how to prioritize goals in couples therapy--where to begin when there are lot of problems.

Our couples therapy field, however, lacks explicit models for priority setting. Your couples work will be smoother and more effective if you know which problems to start with and why.

Navigating Couples Therapy: The Power of Prioritization

In the intricate landscape of couples therapy, prioritization emerges as a guiding light, illuminating the path toward effective treatment. With each partnership presenting a unique array of challenges, the need for a structured approach to Couples therapy prioritization becomes paramount.

Unveiling the Family FIRO Model:

At the core of effective prioritization lies the Family FIRO Model—a beacon of clarity forged through years of research and practice. This model offers a systematic framework for identifying and addressing the most pressing concerns within a relationship.

Recognizing the Complexity of Multi-Problem Couples:

Every couple is a multi-problem couple, grappling with a myriad of issues ranging from communication breakdowns to financial stressors. With a roadmap for prioritization, therapists can avoid being engulfed by this complexity.

Drawing Parallels to Medical Triage:

Like medical triage, the Family FIRO Model empowers therapists to discern between issues that require immediate intervention and those that can be addressed over time. By prioritizing effectively, therapists can optimize therapeutic outcomes and create a foundation of stability.

Identifying Linchpin Issues:

Central to the prioritization process is the recognition of linchpin issues—those problems that disproportionately influence the overall health of the relationship. Therapists can lay the groundwork for lasting transformation by addressing these critical issues first.

Empowering Therapists with Clarity and Purpose:

As relational therapists, our mission extends beyond mere conflict resolution. Through Couples therapy prioritization using the Family FIRO Model, we can navigate the complexities of couples' problems with clarity and purpose, fostering enduring connections that withstand the test of time.


In an era where the demand for effective couples therapy has never been greater, the need for prioritization has never been more pressing. By embracing models like the Family FIRO, therapists can unlock new avenues of healing, empowering couples to navigate life's challenges with strength and resilience.