Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, Ph.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

David C. Hill, Ph.D.


Researchers and clinicians recognize relationship distress as one of the most frequently presented problems in psychotherapy. Relationships themselves depend on language and sociolinguistic skills. However, despite the passionate interest and relevance imparted to success in relationships, little attention is paid to sociolinguistic skills. This study is an evaluation of a feasibility study designed as a couple’s communication program. Overcoming communication problems and improving marital satisfaction is the intent of this program. The design of this program is to overcome communication problems and improve marital satisfaction. Cooperative communication is the framework for the communication skills training. One voluntary couple participated in this pilot study. The study utilized a 55-page treatment workbook designed to increase sociolinguistic skills and gender difference awareness. The workbook employed the seminal works of Immanuel Kant, H. P. Grice, and Deborah Tannen. The brief intervention consisted of 11 sessions over a period of 9 consecutive weeks. Each session used a cognitive-behavioral theoretical orientation. The rationale of this study was to promote cooperative communication between individuals within a couple’s therapy milieu. This cognitive-behavioral couple therapy (CBCT) intervention focused on improving sociolinguistic skills and increasing couple satisfaction.