Incorporating Impact Therapy into Relationship Education: The RCFFC therapeutic map and depth chart

The RCFFC therapeutic map  (Rapport, Contract, Focus, Funnel and Close) used in Impact Therapy can guide discussion and lead to directed and deeper discussion with couples in a relationship education and counseling context.

As a transformative approach, Impact Therapy does not seek resolution of the immediate problem, but rather it seeks to empower the parties to define their own issues, to seek solutions on their own and mutual recognition of the parties.

Adapted for use in relationship education, the RCFFC therapeutic map adopted by Jacobs and Schimmel contains the following elements:

  1. Rapport: Talking directly to the parties and establishing rapport is important and essential for relationship education and counseling. Building a relationship and explaining the process and philosophy of the session is critical, as well as allaying any fears or concerns of the parties. Connecting with the parties and understanding their world is the best way to build rapport;
  2. Contract: The contract is an implicit or explicit agreement between the relationship educator or counselor and the parties, absolutely necessary for productive relationship education and counseling;
  3. Focus: Bring clarity to a specific topic or issue that needs to be addressed is an example of focus, which is often bought about through the use of creative techniques;
  4. Funnel: Funneling the session is discussing an issue in such a way that there is some new level of understanding or insight;
  5. Close: Closing the session is important to ensure lasting effect. Taking notes and summarising what has been learned and potentially discussing possible tasks that the parties can do between appointments is important.
    (Jacobs and Schimmel, 2013, pp 9)

Reference: Jacobs and Schimmel, 2013: Impact therapy.

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