Psychotherapy used specifically for unmarried couples, of mixed or same sex. (From APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 1994)
A form of psychotherapy involving the husband and wife and directed to improving the marital relationship.

The London Depression Intervention Trial. Randomised controlled trial of antidepressants v. couple therapy in the treatment and maintenance of people with depression living with a partner: clinical outcome and costs. (1/27)

BACKGROUND: Relapse of depression is associated with a criticising attitude of the patient's partner. AIMS: To compare the relative efficacy and cost of couple therapy and antidepressant drugs for the treatment and maintenance of people with depression living with a critical partner. METHOD: A randomised controlled trial of antidepressant drugs v. couple therapy. The subjects were 77 people meeting criteria for depression living with a critical partner. RESULTS: Drop-outs were 56.8% [corrected] from drug treatment and 15% from couple therapy. Subjects' depression improved in both groups, but couple therapy showed a significant advantage, according to the Beck Depression Inventory, both at the end of treatment and after a second year off treatment. Adding the costs of the interventions to the costs of services used showed there was no appreciable difference between the two treatments. CONCLUSIONS: For this group couple therapy is much more acceptable than antidepressant drugs and is at least as efficacious, if not more so, both in the treatment and maintenance phases. It is no more expensive overall.  (+info)

Couple dynamics of change-resistant smoking: toward a family consultation model. (2/27)

Smoking is North America's leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. Although effective cessation treatments exist, their overall effect is modest, and they rarely reach the high-risk, health-compromised smokers who need them most. Surprisingly, despite evidence that marital relationship variables predict the success of cessation efforts, family systems ideas have had little impact on current intervention research. We review and critique the cessation literature from a systemic viewpoint, illustrate two couple-interaction patterns relevant to the maintenance of high-risk smoking, and outline a family-consultation (FAMCON) intervention for couples in which at least one partner continues to smoke despite having heart or lung disease. Taking into account ironic processes and symptom-system fit, FAMCON focuses on the immediate social context of smoking, aiming to interrupt well-intentioned "solutions" that ironically feed back to keep smoking going, and to help clients realign important relationships in ways not organized around tobacco usage. Currently in its pilot-testing phase, FAMCON is an adjunctive, complementary approach designed to include collaboration with primary-care physicians and to make smokers more amenable to other, evidence-based cessation strategies.  (+info)

Objectivity in psychoanalytic assessment of couple relationships. (3/27)

BACKGROUND: Clinicians claim that partners in a couple can be understood to share a mode of relating, at an unconscious level. Assessment of this depends on inference from observable data. This study tests the viability and reliability of a modification of the Personal Relatedness Profile (PRP) for this purpose. AIMS: To test the interrater reliability and construct validity of a joint PRP score for couples. METHOD: Seven therapists independently rated couples' interactions using the 30-item PRP and segments of videotaped interviews with 19 couples. RESULTS: Interrater reliability was good and correlations between items clearly supported the underlying Kleinian bipolar model used (paranoid-schizoid/ depressive positions). CONCLUSIONS: Psychoanalytic couple psychotherapists agree in independent judgements of the nature of couple functioning, these judgements being based on envisaging couples in terms of an unconsciously shared state of mind.  (+info)

The efficacy of a relationship-based HIV/STD prevention program for heterosexual couples. (4/27)

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the efficacy of a relationship-based HIV/sexually transmitted disease prevention program for heterosexual couples and whether it is more effective when delivered to the couple or to the woman alone. METHODS: Couples (n = 217) were recruited and randomized to (1) 6 sessions provided to couples together (n = 81), (2) the same intervention provided to the woman alone (n = 73), or (3) a 1-session control condition provided to the woman alone (n = 63). RESULTS: The intervention was effective in reducing the proportion of unprotected and increasing the proportion of protected sexual acts. No significant differences in effects were observed between couples receiving the intervention together and those in which the woman received it alone. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the efficacy of a relationship-based prevention program for couples at risk for HIV infection.  (+info)

Pilot intervention to enhance sexual rehabilitation for couples after treatment for localized prostate carcinoma. (5/27)

BACKGROUND: The majority of prostate carcinoma survivors experience enduring sexual difficulties and associated distress in the years after definitive treatment. A counseling intervention aimed at improving levels of sexual satisfaction and increasing successful utilization of medical treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) was developed and pilot-tested for both the survivor of prostate carcinoma and his partner. METHODS: All male participants were 3-month to 5-year survivors of localized prostate carcinoma who had been treated with radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy, and were married or in a committed relationship. Couples were randomized to attend four sessions of counseling together or to have the man attend alone. In both groups, partners completed behavioral homework. The sessions included education on prostate carcinoma and sexual function and options to treat ED as well as sexual communication and stimulation skills. Standardized questionnaires at baseline, posttreatment, and at 3-month and 6-month follow-up assessed sexual function, marital adjustment, psychologic distress, and utilization of treatments for ED. RESULTS: Fifty-one of 84 couples randomized to treatment completed the intervention (61%). Attendance by the partner did not affect outcomes. Participants completing the intervention demonstrated improvement in male overall distress (P < 0.01), male global sexual function (P < 0.0001), and female global sexual function (P < 0.05) at 3-month follow-up, but regression toward baseline was noted at 6-month follow-up. However, utilization of ED treatments increased from 31% at the time of study entry to 49% at the 6-month follow-up (P = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this brief pilot counseling intervention demonstrated significant gains in sexual function and satisfaction and increased utilization of treatments for ED. However, modifications are needed in future randomized trials to reduce the rate of premature termination and to improve long-term maintenance of gains.  (+info)

Preconception counselling initiated by general practitioners in the Netherlands: reaching couples contemplating pregnancy [ISRCTN53942912]. (6/27)

BACKGROUND: To maximise the potential for reducing the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, preconception counselling (PCC) is used to inform couples contemplating pregnancy about general and personal risk factors. Many initiatives have been developed to provide PCC, but none offers it routinely in a presumed low-risk population. The objective of the study was to investigate the extent to which women contemplating pregnancy can be reached when a PCC programme is routinely offered by general practitioners (GPs). METHODS: 30 GPs actively offered PCC to all women aged 18 to 40 over a three-year period. GPs reviewed lists of these women and excluded women with adverse social circumstances. The remaining women received an invitation for PCC. They were requested to indicate whether they were interested in PCC, and if so, when they were contemplating pregnancy. Those both interested and contemplating pregnancy within one year were invited for PCC. All pregnancies occurring within one year of an invitation were monitored. Response rates and percentages of pregnancies preceded by an invitation or actual attendance to PCC were calculated. RESULTS: Overall, 72-75% of the interested responders, who returned the risk-assessment questionnaire (80%), actually attended PCC. However, the GPs excluded a large number of women. In 2002 27% of all pregnancies occurred in the group of women who had been interested and had indicated that they hoped to get pregnant within one year. Another 33% of the pregnancies occurred in the group of women who had been excluded, 13% in the group who had not responded, and 14% in the group who had not been interested. CONCLUSION: A quarter of the women who became pregnant in the year after the invitation were reached in time. In order to increase this number, methods should be developed to decrease the exclusion of women by the GPs and to increase women's response.  (+info)

Substance abuse and intimate partner violence: treatment considerations. (7/27)

Given the increased use of marital- and family-based treatments as part of treatment for alcoholism and other drug disorders, providers are increasingly faced with the challenge of addressing intimate partner violence among their patients and their intimate partners. Yet, effective options for clinicians who confront this issue are extremely limited. While the typical response of providers is to refer these cases to some form of batterers' treatment, three fundamental concerns make this strategy problematic: (1) most of the agencies that provide batterers' treatment only accept individuals who are legally mandated to complete their programs; (2) among programs that do accept nonmandated patients, most substance-abusing patients do not accept such referrals or drop out early in the treatment process; and (3) available evidence suggests these programs may not be effective in reducing intimate partner violence. Given these very significant concerns with the current referral approach, coupled with the high incidence of IPV among individuals entering substance abuse treatment, providers need to develop strategies for addressing IPV that can be incorporated and integrated into their base intervention packages.  (+info)

A family consultation intervention for health-compromised smokers. (8/27)

Although spousal support predicts the success of a smoker's cessation efforts, "social-support" interventions based on teaching partners better support skills have had consistently disappointing results. We examined the potential utility of a family consultation (FAMCON) intervention based on family-systems principles in a treatment-development project involving 20 couples in which one partner (the primary smoker) continued to smoke despite having or being at significant risk for heart or lung disease. The 50% rate of stable abstinence achieved by primary smokers over at least 6 months exceeds benchmark success rates reported in the literature for other comparably intensive interventions, suggesting that a couple-focused intervention different in concept and format from social-support interventions tested in the past may hold promise for health-compromised smokers. The FAMCON approach appeared particularly well suited to female smokers and smokers whose partner also smoked--two subgroups at high risk for relapse.  (+info)

Couples therapy, also known as marriage counseling or relationship therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help couples identify and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. It can be conducted with licensed therapists, social workers, or counselors who have experience working with couples. The therapy may involve both individual and joint sessions to understand each person's perspective, address communication issues, explore patterns of behavior, and develop new ways of interacting that promote greater understanding, empathy, and connection between the partners. Ultimately, the goal of couples therapy is to enhance the relationship and strengthen the bond between the couple.

Marital therapy, also known as couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy aimed at helping married or cohabitating partners understand and resolve their conflicts. It is a form of treatment that addresses the specific communication and relationship issues between two people who are in a committed relationship. The goal of marital therapy is to help couples develop skills and strategies to improve their relationship and better handle any future conflicts.

Marital therapy can be beneficial for couples facing a range of issues, including communication problems, financial stress, sexual difficulties, infidelity, addiction, and major life transitions. It is typically provided by licensed mental health professionals, such as psychologists, social workers, or marriage and family therapists. The therapy may involve individual sessions with each partner, as well as joint sessions with both partners together.

The specific approach used in marital therapy will depend on the training and preferences of the therapist, as well as the needs and goals of the couple. Some common approaches include cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and the Gottman method. These approaches may involve exercises such as communication skills training, conflict resolution techniques, and trust-building activities. Ultimately, the goal of marital therapy is to help couples build a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.

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