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Tips for Clinicians, Family Members, and Friends

Yaliu He, Ph.D. • December 29, 2017

When couples are dissatisfied in their relationship, couple therapy, in which both members of the couple participate in the treatment, has become one of the most widely practiced interventions. The effectiveness of couple therapy in improving couple relationships has been demonstrated by several studies.

References & Citations

Barbato, A., & D’Avanzo, B. (2008). Efficacy of couple therapy as a treatment for depression: A meta-analysis. Psychiatric Quarterly, 79, 121-132.

Baucom, D. H., Hahlweg, K., & Kuschel, A. (2003). Are waiting-list control groups needed in future marital therapy outcome research? Behavior Therapy, 34, 179-188.

Crane, D. R., Newfield, N., & Armstrong, D. (1984). Predicting divorce at marital therapy intake interview: Wives’ distress and the Marital Status Inventory. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 10, 305–312.

Doherty, W. (2014, November 7). Marital First Responders [Video File]. Retrieved from

Doherty, W. (2015, October 9). CSI (Couple Sensitive Individual) Therapy: How to Avoid Colluding with Your Clients [Video File]. Retrieved from https://mncamh.umn. edu/clinical-training/webinars/csi-couple-sensitive-individualtherapy-how-avoid-colluding-your-clients.

Gurman, A. S., & Burton, M. (2014). Individual therapy for couple problems: Perspectives and pitfalls. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40, 470-483.

Gurman, A. S. (2008b). Integrative couple therapy: A depthbehavioral approach. In A. S. Gurman (Ed.), Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy, 4th Ed. (pp. 383–423). New York: Guilford.

Helms, H. M., Crouter, A. C., & McHale, S. M. (2003). Marital quality and spouses’ marriage work with close friends and each other. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 963–977.

Lebow, J. L., Chambers, A. L., Christensen, A., & Johnson, S. M. (2012). Research on the treatment of couple distress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, 145-168.

Lind Seal, K., Doherty, W. J., & Harris, S. M. (2016). Confiding about problems in marriage and long-term committed relationships: A national study. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 42, 438-450.

Osborn, D., Fletcher, A., Smeeth, L., Stirling, S., Bulpitt, C., Breeze, E., et al. (2003). Factors associated with depression in a representative sample of 14,217 people aged 75 and over in  the United Kingdom: Results from the MRC trial of assessment and management of older people in the community. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18, 623–630.

Pinsof, W., Zinbarg, R., & Knobloch-Fedders, L. (2008). Factorial and construct validity of the revised short form integrative psychotherapy alliance scales for family, couple, and individual therapy. Family Process, 47, 281-301.

Shadish, W. R., & Baldwin, S. A. (2003). Meta-analysis of MFT interventions. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29, 547-570.

Scheinkman, M., & DeKoven Fishbane, M. (2004). The vulnerability cycle: Working with impasses in couple therapy. Family Process, 43, 279-299.

Widmer, E., Kellerhals, J., & Levy, R. (2004). Types of conjugal networks, conjugal conflict and conjugal quality. European Sociological Review, 20, 63-77.