The couple’s tree of life: Promoting and protecting relational identity

Carlos A. Chimpén-López, Meritxell Pacheco, Teresa Pretel-Luque, Rebeca Bastón, Daniel Chimpén-Sagrado

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We present The Couple’s Tree of Life (CTOL) as a new collective narrative methodology to strengthen couple relationships and prevent conflicts. The CTOL, based on the tree of life methodology (Ncube & Denborough, Tree of Life, mainstreaming psychosocial care and support: a manual for facilitators, REPSSI, 2007), aims to reinforce the identity and strengths of the couple. We explain the CTOL implementation process and illustrate it step by step with a group of 14 adult heterosexual Caucasian couples who belonged to Protestant churches in Madrid (Spain). As a way to assess its usefulness before applying the CTOL to other groups of couples, we conducted a pre-post evaluation using the Dyadic Adjustment Scale of Spanier(1976). We found an improvement in dyadic adjustment, quality, understanding of, and satisfaction with, the relationship. The results, though not generalizable at this stage, suggest that the CTOL could reinforce the couple’s identity while maintaining individual identities. We also discuss the possible applications of couples therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1416
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Process
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • couple identity
  • narrative therapy
  • psychosocial intervention
  • tree of life


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