Effectiveness of Couples Therapy and Couples Counseling
Effectiveness of Couples Therapy and Couples Counseling was written by Brett Wallace (March 2014), Future Clinical Psychologist and University of North Florida Psychology Student, for D’Arienzo Psychological Group in Jacksonville, Florida. D’Arienzo Psychological Group specializes in Forensic and Clinical Psychology and Couples Counseling.
Couples therapy can help with areas that cause marital distress. Sherman, Zanotti, and Jones (2005) attempted to provide support for couples therapy as a way to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. They based this hypothesis on data that showed that couples that have at least one spouse that is suffering from war-related PTSD have a high rate of marital problems and divorce. The researchers also note that family stress can trigger PTSD symptoms and that family support decreases the severity of the symptoms. To support their hypothesis they included a case study. In the case study the researchers found that couples gradually became more able to deal with avoidance symptoms improving their overall relationship. They also gained skills that allowed them to decrease the severity of arousal symptoms. While these findings do provide promising evidence, more data in this area is needed before coming to a definitive conclusion. The researchers of this study suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy, an effective method in treating couples who are participating in couples therapy or couples counseling, also be added to supportive therapy.
Couples therapy also seems to be an effective treatment for depression. Bodenmann et al (2008) conducted a study in which they compared coping-oriented couples therapy (COCP) with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). IPT involves exploring issues that may cause depression with cognitive behavioral elements. In their study they found that all groups significantly improved and no significant difference between the groups. They also looked at the relationship of the participants and their partners. They looked at relationship quality (PFB), dyadic coping (DCI), and partner opinion of the participants (EE). They found no significant difference between the groups for the first two measures. For the third, they found that the partners of participants in the COCP group used less negative words to describe their partner. This implies that COCP can be a valid alternative to other forms of therapy and potentially allows patients to have more options for the type of therapy they may want to take part in.
Bodermann, G., Plancherel, B., Widmer, K., Meuwly, N., Hautzinger, M., Beach, S.R.H., Gabriel, B., Charvoz, L., & Schramm, E. (2008). Effects of Coping-Oriented Couples Therapy on Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 944-954
Sherman, M.D., Zanotti, D.K., & Jones, D.E. (2005). Key Elements in Couples Therapy With Veterans With Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36(6), 626-633.
D’Arienzo Psychological Group, specializes in clinical and forensic psychology, and couples counseling. We are located in Jacksonville, Florida and have providers from psychology, social work, and mental health counseling.
D’Arienzo Psychological Group specializes in Forensic and Clinical Psychology and Couples Counseling.