Treating Marital Stress : Support-Based Approaches book cover
1st Edition

Treating Marital Stress
Support-Based Approaches

  • This format is currently out of stock.
ISBN 9780789016324
Published April 30, 2003 by Routledge
184 Pages

USD $46.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Help your marital therapy clients become more supportive of their partners!

As a therapist, you see many unhappy couples who long for the loving support that used to be the touchstone of their relationship. Treating Marital Stress: Support-Based Approaches helps you restore that support, beginning with detailed descriptions of the five major patterns of marital distress and continuing with a comprehensive training manual that includes figures, case studies, and samples of possible dialogues between clients and therapists. Step-by-step discussion of the first five sessions with a hypothetical couple provide you with the tools you'll need to help your clients learn to work together as a team, manage their anger, and communicate effectively with each other.

Treating Marital Stress shows you the best ways to:

  • work with a reluctant spouse
  • use empathic probing to make a connection with each client
  • design homework assignments so spouses can work on individual improvements
  • point out problematic behaviors within sessions through 'here and now' interventions
  • reframe conflicts to reduce defensiveness
  • help clients accept responsibility for themselves and avoid placing blame
Other chapters discuss how you can assign behavioral tasks, get the couple to focus on their objectives, and predict and move beyond emotional obstacles to healing. This helpful volume also explores the outcome data from a study on support-focused marital theory conducted in a university setting.

Author Robert Rugel, PhD writes: “A spouse who is on the receiving end of support will feel loved and valued by the partner. That spouse will also know that the partner can be counted on to be there when help is needed. As a result, security and trust develop in the relationship.” You can be there to help spouses look at each other differently and learn to trust and support each other once more.

Table of Contents


  • Acknowledgments
  • The Importance of Support
  • Chapter 1. The Role of Support in Marriage
  • The Overwhelmed Spouse of Contemporary Marriage
  • The Literature on Social Support
  • The Five Patterns of Marital Distress
  • Specific Support-Focused Marital Therapy Interventions
  • The Treatment Manual
  • Chapter 2. Session One: Using Empathy and Probes to Understand the Perspective of Each Partner
  • The Therapist's Goals
  • What Are Your Concerns? Working Empathically with One Spouse and Then the Other
  • What Do You Want to Achieve? Establishing a Preliminary Therapeutic Alliance with Regard to Goals
  • Describing How You Will Work Together: Establishing the Therapeutic Alliance with Regard to Tasks
  • Closing the First Session by Handling Administrative Matters
  • Chapter 3. Session Two: Processing Interactions and Presenting Patterns
  • The Therapist's Goals
  • “Processing” Conflicts and Interactions
  • Processing Mary and Pete's Conflict
  • Presenting Mary and Pete's Pattern
  • The Therapist As Relationship Instructor
  • Preparing the Couple for Individual Sessions
  • Chapter 4. Sessions Three, Four, and Five: Deepening the Therapist's Understanding Through Individual Sessions and Reorientation
  • The Therapist's Goals
  • Increasing the Emotional Connection
  • Obtaining the Marital History
  • Obtaining the Developmental History
  • Session Five: Reorienting the Couple After the Individual Sessions
  • Chapter 5. Working to Increase Support in Subsequent Sessions
  • Assigning Tasks and Helping Spouses Get What They Want
  • Understanding and Reframing the Inner Emotional Obstacles to Carrying Out Assignments
  • Reframing the Obstacles to Providing Support
  • Following Up on Previous Homework Assignments
  • Identifying the Dismissive Attitude Pattern
  • Identifying the Unilateral Attempt to Prevail Pattern: “Winning the Battle but Losing the War”
  • Using Support Lists to Structure the Therapy Around the Issue of Support
  • Keeping the Support Issue on the Table and Monitoring Progress
  • Chapter 6. Dealing with Triangulation Patterns in Subsequent Sessions
  • The Parenting Triangle
  • Working As a Team and Problem Solving
  • The Work or Hobby Triangle
  • Chapter 7. Dealing with Anger Management, Derogation, and Negative Escalation in Subsequent Sessions
  • Calming the Angry System: The Therapist As Gatekeeper
  • Teaching the Couple to Avoid Negative Escalation
  • Framing the Issue As Anger Management
  • Framing Inappropriate Anger Management As a Function of Marital Deterioration
  • Dealing with the Emotional Obstacles to Anger Management and the Inhibition of Criticism
  • Chapter 8. Dealing with Communication Avoidance in Subsequent Sessions
  • What Is Direct Communication?
  • Indirect Communication and Conflict Avoidance
  • Describing the Communication Avoidance Pattern
  • Dealing with Obstacles to Direct Communication
  • Chapter 9. Encouraging Companionship, Affection, and Sexual Intimacy in Subsequent Sessions
  • Using the Here and Now to Enact Affectionate Behavior
  • Encouraging Companionship
  • Encouraging Nonsexual Touching and Sexual Intimacy
  • Chapter 10. Accepting Partner Differences and Limitations
  • Differences As an Irritant
  • Learning to Accept Differences and Limitations
  • Accepting Gender Differences
  • A Case History
  • Chapter 11. The Marriage of Sam and Diane
  • Introduction
  • Sessions One Through Eighteen
  • Subsequent Sessions
  • The Outcome Research
  • Chapter 12. Assessing the Effectiveness of Support-Focused Marital Therapy
  • Study One: The Support-Focused Marital Therapy Waitlist-Control Comparison
  • Study Two: Correlations Among Support, Anger, Marital Satisfaction, and Change in Marital Satisfaction
  • Afterword
  • References
  • Index

View More