Process Research in Couple and Family Therapy
Name of Entry
Change mechanisms; Change process research
Over the past 20 years since researchers definitively demonstrated the efficacy of various approaches to couple and family therapy (CFT), attention has turned to process research. That is, aside from studying which therapeutic approaches “work” best with different kinds of couples and families, researchers are particularly interested in studying specific factors that contribute to positive change.
Generally speaking, the term process research refers to investigations of therapists’ and clients’ behaviors and perceptions during therapy. The bulk of process studies in couple and family therapy, like those in individual therapy, focus on what takes place in therapy sessions themselves, although some studies of behaviors occurring between sessions are also considered to be process research.
In large part, therapist behavior has been studied in terms of techniques, such as confrontation and...
- Friedlander, M. L., Heatherington, L., & Escudero, V. (2016). Research on change mechanisms: Advances in process research. In T. Sexton & J. Lebow (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (4th ed., pp. 454–467). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
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