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Dianne, Your first comment is so appropriate – “… will depend on the couple.” And weather you are in beginning stages or much later in the treatment. You reference many points of intervention, trying to regulate the couple. I think your instincts are good at working with this couple. One thing I might add is to keep the work focused in the presence, in the here and now. Right here in the office. Because the couple will want to rehash the past over and over for which there are no solutions, only pain. Sometimes I found it helpful to stop all the talking – require silence for a minute.
Thanks for your observations,