Rule Of 5 For Couples Therapy: Indications & Contraindications


Rule of 5

When Couple Therapy is Contraindicated:

  • If one party is emotionally or physically abusive (or has been in the last two years)
  • If one party has an undiagnosed, untreated, and active mental illness or addiction
  • If one party is using pornography or unfaithful in any way
  • When one or both parties has decided to begin divorce proceedings
  • If one party is incapable of true empathy

When Couple Therapy Is Indicated:

  • The addicted party is completely sober and has been for at least two years
  • The whole truth is on the table
  • Trauma, mental illness, and addiction have been appropriately diagnosed and treated
  • Both parties are able to empathize
  • Both parties desire to reconcile