1st Edition

Treatment Plans and Interventions in Couple Therapy A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

    Filled with rich case examples, this pragmatic book provides a complete toolkit for couple-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The book presents guidelines for planning and implementing evidence-based treatment for diverse couples. It explains how to assess relationship functioning as well as the strengths and needs of each partner and the sociocultural factors that shape their experiences. Drawing on decades of clinical experience and research, the authors demonstrate ways to tailor CBT for couples struggling with partner aggression; infidelity; sexual problems; financial issues; parenting conflicts; depression, anxiety, and other individual problems; and more. Therapists of any theoretical orientation will find tools they can easily incorporate into their work with couples. More than 20 ready-to-use client handouts discussed in the book are available to download and print.

    List of Reproducible Handouts (Online)
    I. Introduction and Overview
    1. Introduction to Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy Concepts and Methods
    2. Conducting Couple Therapy
    3. Assessment
    4. Interventions in Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy
    II. Treatment Planner
    5. Partner Aggression
    6. Infidelity
    7. Sexual Relationship Problems
    8. Financial Issues
    9. Co-Parenting Problems
    10. Couple Interventions for Individual Psychopathology
    11. Intercultural Couples
    12. Conclusions and Future Directions


    Norman B. Epstein, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Science in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a licensed clinical psychologist. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Fellow of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Professional Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and Diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology. Dr. Epstein is a pioneer in the development of cognitive-behavioral therapy with couples and families. His research, teaching, and training of clinicians have focused on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes in relationship adjustment and dysfunction; couple and family coping with stress; treatments for distressed couples and families; and culturally sensitive adaptations of Western-derived models of therapy. Dr. Epstein is author or editor of five previous books, has published over 150 journal articles and book chapters, and has presented numerous research papers and training workshops nationally and internationally. He has served on editorial boards of leading journals and has maintained a clinical practice throughout his career.

    Mariana K. Falconier, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Master's Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, she was Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Family Services, and Director of the Master's Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Dr. Falconier is a licensed marriage and family therapist in both Maryland and Virginia, a licensed psychologist in Argentina, and an approved supervisor and clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Her research focuses on how couples cope with stress, primarily economic stress among low-income couples and immigration stress in Latine couples. She developed TOGETHER, an evidence-based, interdisciplinary group program designed to help couples improve their communication, coping, and financial management skills; adapted the program to serve Latine couples and LGBTQ couples; and has received federal funding to offer TOGETHER to various underserved communities, for which she received an Excellence in Professional/Clinical Practice Award from the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Falconier has published and widely presented nationally and internationally. She has served on editorial boards of leading journals, directed mental health clinics, and maintained a clinical practice.

    "Epstein and Falconier have created a tour de force that is both scholarly and practical, using a coherent framework to guide clinicians in treating couples presenting with relationship distress; specific relational challenges, such as infidelity or interpersonal violence; or individual problems that affect relationship functioning. The book is detailed and clear enough to provide guidance for the beginning couple therapist, with enough depth to enrich the knowledge and skills of the experienced couple therapist as well. I wish this book had been available when I was teaching couple therapy in my graduate seminar in psychology."--Barbara S. McCrady, PhD, Department of Psychology and Center on Alcohol, Substance Use, and Addiction, University of New Mexico

    "This book tackles the most common (and serious) of couple concerns, while also attending to nuances and unique situations presented by each couple. Epstein and Falconier concisely present immediately applicable interventions that can be used by therapists from a wide variety of theoretical orientations. In a departure from traditional couple therapy texts, this book also offers important guidance about unique topics, such as pathology in couples, intersectionality, physiology and emotion in couples, and the contextual environment in which couples are embedded. A 'must read' for anyone wishing to be more effective as a couple therapist."--Katherine M. Hertlein, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    "This book is extremely useful for therapists working with their first couples, as well as experienced couple therapists wanting to take a different approach for a particular couple. It can serve as an excellent reference guide for therapists who want to involve the client's partner in a course of individual therapy focused on financial problems, coparenting conflict, or mental health issues. This book somehow manages to be a primer on couple-focused CBT, a series of detailed and comprehensive recommendations tailored to common presenting problems, and a resource for helpful handouts that greatly facilitate the application of the content with couples. It’s like getting three books in one!"--Brian D. Doss, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Miami-