Clinical Application of the Couple Adaptation to Traumatic Stress (CATS) Model

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The authors attempt to apply knowledge of traumatization to clinical practice with couple dyads. Elaborating on the Couple Adaptation to Traumatic Stress (CATS) Model (Nelson Goff & Smith, 2005), the authors have worked to bridge the gap between a general understanding of trauma’s impact on the couple relationship and couples’ treatment. This article facilitates the application of the CATS Model to clinical work with couples impacted by trauma. Incorporating Herman’s (1997) traumatic process with the original CATS Model, the authors created a more specific, clinically useful framework for clinicians. The goal of the current article is to provide clinicians with a pragmatic illustration articulating a clinical framework for understanding and treating posttraumatic symptoms and processes within the couple relationship. The main implication is that clinicians will be able to conduct effectively guided systemic therapy with distressed couples necessary to generate progress in the treatment of symptomatology and couple functioning of trauma survivors and their partners.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Trauma