Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Rehearsal in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Rachel L. HughesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_569

Name of Concept

Rehearsal in Couple and Family Therapy


Behavioral rehearsal in couple and family therapy; Enactments; Role rehearsal in couple and family therapy


Originating from behavioral therapy modalities, rehearsal in couple and family therapy can offer a beneficial way to practice desired behaviors, conversations, or roles in session (Dattilio 2009). Therapists may ask clients to rehearse situations in therapy sessions to develop the skills necessary to encounter the practiced situation outside of therapy.

Theoretical Context for Concept

A therapist may propose a rehearsal in a session that promotes the goals of the therapist’s theory of change. A therapist would prescribe a rehearsal that could help achieve problem resolution as conceptualized in the therapist’s theory of change (McFall and Lillesand 1971). For example, an emotionally focused therapist may facilitate the rehearsal of a dialogue between a husband and wife about the primary emotions of fear...

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  3. McFall, R. M., & Lillesand, D. B. (1971). Behavior rehearsal with modeling and coaching in assertion training. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 77(3), 313–323.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0031010.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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