Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Goals in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Jake JensenEmail author
  • Braden Brown
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_533

Name of Concept

Goals of couple and family therapy

Introduction

Couples and families choose to attend therapy for a host of reasons ranging from domestic violence to partner infidelity to oppositional defiance of a child. Most who come to therapy decide to seek out professional help with the goal of improving current family functioning. Many see therapy as a resource that will provide them with relationship skills that will better their situation. Others see therapy as an outlet for venting or sharing their emotional burdens, a place where they can feel heard and have their emotions validated. Still others see therapy as a last resort, realizing that this option may be the final chance to salvage a damaged relationship.

Research has consistently highlighted the importance of forming and maintaining a strong therapeutic alliance to promote effective treatment outcomes in couple and family therapy (CFT; Sprenkle et al. 2009). Many factors, such as cultural differences, professional...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bordin, E. S. (1979). The generalizablity of the psychoanalytic concept of the working alliance. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 16, 252–260.Google Scholar
  2. Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Krasner, B. (Eds.). (1986). Between give and take: A clinical guide to contextual therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  3. Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Spark, G. (1973). Invisible loyalties: Reciprocity in intergenerational family therapy. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  4. Broderick, C. (1993). Understanding family process: Basics of family systems theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Doherty, W., Harris, S., & Wilde, J. (2015). Discernment counseling for “mixed-agenda couples”. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 42, 246–255.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Duncan, B., Miller, S., Sparks, J., Claud, D., Reynolds, L., Brown, J., & Johnson, L. (2003). The session rating scale: Preliminary psychometric properties of a “working” alliance measure. Journal of Brief Therapy, 3, 3–11.Google Scholar
  7. du Plessis, K., Clark, D., & Woolley, C. (2007). Secure attachment conceptualizations: The influence of general and specific relational models on conflict beliefs and conflict resolution styles. Interpersona, 1, 25–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Feeney, & Noller. (1990). Attachment style as a predictor of adult romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 281–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. S. (2008). Gottman method couple therapy. In A. Gurman (Ed.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (pp. 138–164). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Gottman, J., Coan, J., Carrere, S., & Swanson, C. (1998). Predicting marital happiness and stability from newlywed interactions. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 60, 5–22.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson, S., Bradley, B., Furrow, J., Lee, A., Palmer, G., Tilley, D., & Wooley, S. (2013). Becoming and emotionally focused therapist: The workbook. New York: Taylor & Francis.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Johnson, S., Hunsley, J., Greenberg, L., & Schindler, D. (1999). Emotionally focused couples therapy: Status and challenges. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 6, 67–79.Google Scholar
  13. Jones, R., & Wells, M. (1996). An empirical study of parentification and personality. American Journal of Family Therapy, 24, 145–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Miller, S., Duncan, B., Brown, J., Sparks, J., & Claud, D. (2003). The outcome rating scale: A preliminary study of reliability, validity, and feasibility of a brief visual analog measure. Journal of Brief Therapy, 2, 91–99.Google Scholar
  15. Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Minuchin, S., & Fishman, H. (2009). Family therapy techniques. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Piet, J., Wurtzen, H., & Zachariae, R. (2012). The effect of mindfulness based therapy on symptoms of anxiety and depression in adult cancer patients and survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, 1007–1020.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Ruby, P., & Decety, J. (2004). How would you feel versus how do you think she would feel? A neuroimaging study of perspective-taking with social emotions. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 988–999.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Sprenkle, D., Davis, S., & Lebow, J. (2009). Common factors in couple and family therapy: The overlooked foundation for effective practice. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA