Behavior Exchange in Couple and Family Therapy
Name of the Strategy or Intervention
Behavior exchange in couple and family therapy
BE; Contingency contract; Social exchange
Behavior Exchange (BE) is a therapeutic tool which seeks to increase the ratio of positive to negative behaviors that occur within a dyad (Gurman and Jacobson 2002; Jacobson and Christensen 1996; Jacobson and Margolin 1979). A BE model of relationships assumes that each partner holds some amount of control or influence over the other’s behaviors, and thus the dyad is engaged in a continuous cycle of interacting behaviors and responses (Jacobson and Margolin 1979). Partners often respond to positive behaviors with positive behaviors, and respond to negative behaviors with negative behaviors (Gottman et al. 1976).
BE is derived from behaviorism and makes the assumption that small shifts in behavior will influence the overall dyadic dynamic. It is thus often incorporated into behavior-based therapies, such as traditional...
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