It’s a Match? the Influence of Goal Matching in Couple Therapy

Amy D. Smith*, Kelley Marie Quirk, William Pinsof, Jacob Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The degree which partners have aligned goals for therapy is an important, understudied psychotherapy predictor. Growth models were performed to examine group differences in alliance and outcome variables. Results revealed couples reported significantly lower commitment and sexual satisfaction in the mismatched group at the intercept but no significant trajectory differences. The matching group reported higher individual- and between-partner alliances initially but as sessions progressed, the mismatch group displayed significantly higher within-alliance ratings. This suggests couples with matched versus mismatched goals start therapy in different places and therapists may play an important role helping couples become more aligned as therapy progresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-114
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Process research
  • goal matching
  • psychotherapy
  • systemic alliance
  • therapeutic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'It’s a Match? the Influence of Goal Matching in Couple Therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this