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


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...

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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