Although the concepts and methods of cognitive-behavioral therapy initially were developed for application with a variety of disorders of the individual client, in the past decade marital theorists, researchers, and therapists have extended the range of cognitive-behavioral therapy to encompass dysfunction in interpersonal relationships. A hallmark of cognitive-behavioral marital therapy is that it focuses not only on the internal cognitive processes and affective responses of each member of a relationship, but also on the unique pattern of behavioral interactions between partners that are both the results of, and the stimuli for, those internal processes. The cognitive-behavioral marital therapist pays attention to the complex interplay of cognitive, behavioral, and affective responses that occur during a couple’s interactions (Baucom & Epstein, 1990). Consistent with a systems-theory conceptualization of marital relationships (see Leslie, 1988), it is assumed that a particular couple’s problems are due to the unique combination of those two partners’ intra- and interpersonal responses.


Cognitive Therapy Cognitive Restructuring Cognitive Intervention Behavioral Interaction Assessment Session 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrahms, J. L., & Spring, M. (1989). The flip-flop factor. International Cognitive Therapy Newsletter, 5(1), pp. 1, 7-8.Google Scholar
  2. Baucom, D. H., & Epstein, N. (1990). Cognitive-behavioral marital therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  3. Baucom, D. H., Sayers, S. L., & Sher, T. G. (1990). Supplementing behavioral marital therapy with cognitive restructuring and emotional expressiveness training: An outcome investigation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58, 636–645.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beach, S. R. H., Sandeen, E. E., & O’Leary, K. D. (1990). Depression in marriage: A model for etiology and treatment. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. E, & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  6. Behrens, B. C., Sanders, M. R., & Halford, W. K. (1990). Behavioral marital therapy: An evaluation of treatment effects across high and low risk settings. Behavior Therapy, 21, 423–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bradbury, T. N., & Fincham, F. D. (1990). Attributions in marriage: Review and critique. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 3–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fincham, F. D., Bradbury, T. N., & Scott, C. K. (1990). Cognition in marriage. In F. D. Fincham & T. N. Bradbury (Eds.), The psychology of marriage: Basic issues and applications (pp. 118–149). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  9. Guerney, B. G., Jr. (1977). Relationship enhancement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  10. Leslie, L. A. (1988). Cognitive-behavioral and systems models of family therapy: How compatible are they? In N. Epstein, S. E. Schlesinger, & W. Dryden (Eds.), Cognitive-behavioral therapy with families (pp. 49–83). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  11. Pretzer, J. L., Epstein, N., & Fleming, B. (1991). The Marital Attitude Survey: A measure of dysfunctional attributions and expectancies. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 5, 131–148.Google Scholar

Suggested Readings

  1. Baucom, D. H., & Epstein, N. (1990). Cognitive-behavioral marital therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, A. T. (1988). Love is never enough. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  3. Dattilio, F. M., & Padesky, C. A. (1990). Cognitive therapy with couples. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Exchange.Google Scholar
  4. Epstein, N. (1986). Cognitive marital therapy: Multi-level assessment and intervention. Journal of Rational-Emotive Therapy, 4, 68–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Epstein, N., & Baucom, D. H. (1989). Cognitive-behavioral marital therapy. In A. Freeman, K. M. Simon, L. E. Beutler, & H. Arkowitz (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of cognitive therapy (pp. 491–513). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Epstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Family and Community DevelopmentUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations