By: Chris Anderson Psy.D

The concept of content and process is probably one of the single most important concepts in mastering communication in your relationship.


  • Content: The content, when we are talking about couples and their communication problems, refers to what they are talking or arguing about. Some common content issues include: sex, money, kids, in-laws, or whose turn it is to take out the garbage. It’s the “what” we are discussing.


  • Process: The process refers to how a couple is talking to each other. Some common process pitfalls include: making assumptions, being critical, stonewalling, or switching topics to name just a few. The process is how our conversations break down, or goes smoothly.


  • A to B: There are many little steps in getting from point A (the problem) to point B (the solution). All these little steps make up the process.


  • Most couples are great at identifying and bringing up the problem (point A) but rarely seem to make it to any solution or resolution (point B). Things break down in the process and it gets swept under the rug, only to be brought up again in the heat of our next argument.


  • Most couples come into therapy wanting to discuss content. They want to explain how wrong or awful their partner has been in hopes that the therapist will help their partner “see the light”.


  • At I.P.C. we can help people master the process of communication. If we can do this, then the content should never matter.


If you need help with your communication, we can help you figure out where things are falling apart in the process. We are here to help repair the process and teach couples how to master the process.


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