Translation of Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy to a Web-based Intervention

Brian D. Doss, Lisa A. Benson, Emily J. Georgia, Andrew Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Couple therapy-across a number of different theoretical approaches-has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of individual and relationship difficulties. Moreover, recent studies have demonstrated that the effects of several approaches last at least 2-5 years after the end of treatment. However, couple therapy has a critical limitation: most distressed couples-including those who eventually divorce-do not seek couple therapy. Thus, although we recognize there are notable advances in the treatment approaches described in this special section, we argue that traditional approaches to couple therapy need to be supplemented by alternative interventions before we can make a profound, population-level impact on relationship distress and divorce. To this end, we translated Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy into a self-help, web-based program-www.OurRelationship.com. Through a combination of tailored feedback, filmed examples, and interactive education, the online program first helps couples identify a core problem in their relationship. The program then assists partners in coming to a new and more accurate understanding of the problem they jointly identified and subsequently brings them together in a structured conversation to share their new understandings with each other. Finally, based on this shared conceptualization, the program supports couples in making concrete changes in their relationship. In this article, we discuss the rationale for the program, describe the core components of the website, and illustrate these components with a case example. Relative advantages and disadvantages compared with traditional couple therapy are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Couples
  • Integrative behavioral couple therapy
  • Internet
  • Online intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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