Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Maintenance in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Stephen T. FifeEmail author
  • Mandy Squires
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_586


Relapse prevention


Many couples and families experience significant benefits from therapy, with numerous outcome studies and meta-analyses illustrating the effectiveness of couple and family therapy (Shadish and Baldwin 2009). Nevertheless, a significant number of clients struggle to maintain the progress they experienced in therapy (Carlson and Ellis 2004; Snyder et al. 2006). Therefore, it is critical that therapists work with clients to prepare for the end of treatment and identify specific efforts couples and families can do to maintain progress, solidify changes, and minimize the chance of relapse or falling back into old patterns.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Although there is relatively little empirical research on maintenance in couple and family therapy, it is an integral part of treatment for most clinicians who work with couples and families. Therapists are well aware that gains made in therapy can be fragile and short-lived. Some research suggests...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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