1. Practical Theory: Kurt Lewin said, "There is nothing as practical as a good theory." A key mission of the Center is theory development that has clear implications for intervention design.

2. A Developmental Approach: The Center's work emphasizes the interplay between normal and abnormal development. Processes are examined that can help explain the emergence of and transformations in relationship problems and competencies over time.

3. Person-specific Models: The Center strives to produce work that improves the understanding of the behavior of specific individuals in specific contexts and cultures.