Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Speaker-Listener Technique in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Neslihan James-KangalEmail author
  • Sarah W. Whitton
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_97

Name of the Strategy or Intervention

The Speaker-Listener Technique


The Speaker-Listener Technique (Markman et al. 1986) is a structured model of communication used to help couples have constructive discussions about relationship problems, disagreements, and sensitive issues. The Speaker-Listener Technique is a central component of the Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP; Stanley et al. 1999) and is widely used by clinicians working with couples because effective communication is a well-established predictor of relationship health and longevity (e.g., Clements et al. 2004; Markman 1981; Rogge and Bradbury 1999). In particular, long-term couple happiness and stability are promoted when couples engage positively in attempts to resolve conflicts (i.e., listen to and acknowledge each other’s perspectives; collaboratively problem solve) and avoid hostile expression of negative affect (Clements et al. 2004; Gottman et al. 1998). Unfortunately, many couples...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brian Baucom
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA