Integrating the online OurRelationship program into a stepped-care model of couple therapy

Yunying Le, Karen Rothman, Andrew Christensen, Brian D. Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to various barriers, most relationally distressed couples do not seek couple therapy. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these barriers are further exacerbated, while the need for relationship services has increased. To increase the reach of couple therapy both during and after the pandemic, we propose a stepped-care model that utilises technology as a precursor to couple therapy and acts as an integral component of it. In this paper, we first introduce the OurRelationship program – an evidence-based online relationship program that improves both relationship and individual functioning in several large-scale, nationwide trials. We then describe how therapists can incorporate this program into an abbreviated, eight-session course of couple therapy. We expect this integration will be useful to couple therapists from a variety of theoretical orientations and will address numerous common barriers to treatment including cost, scheduling difficulties and geographic distance from the therapist. Practitioner points: Couple therapists can leverage technology to increase their reach both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The online OurRelationship program improves relationship and individual functioning in several nationwide clinical trials. The OurRelationship program can be integrated into an eight-session course of couple therapy to serve couples who would otherwise be unable or unwilling to attend therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-231
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Therapy
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • OurRelationship
  • couple therapy
  • online
  • stepped care
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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