The Evaluation and Treatment of Marital Conflict: A Four-Stage Approach

The Evaluation and Treatment of Marital Conflict: A Four-Stage Approach

The Evaluation and Treatment of Marital Conflict: A Four-Stage Approach

The Evaluation and Treatment of Marital Conflict: A Four-Stage Approach

Synopsis

Couples seek therapy for a variety of reasons, from short-lived adjustment difficulties to deeply entrenched conflict. Yet marital therapy has lacked a conceptual framework for matching treatment to a couple's particular problem. This outstanding new book, by a team of researcher-clinicians from the Center for Family Learning, is the first to address this deficiency. The authors systematically assess the duration and intensity of a couple's present conflict, as well as how the spouses function alone and in their extended families. They have found that troubled couples tend to fall into one of four categories, each best suited to a particular treatment program. The mild conflicts of stage one, for example, respond well to a six-week educational program; whereas the extreme anger and alienation of stage three is best handled without direct confrontation. The authors describe their evaluation and treatment procedures- including assessing multigenerational systems, dealing with triangles, and reducing emotional arousal- and illustrate their explanations with lengthy case illustrations and session-by-session transcripts. Because it offers a carefully articulated, clinically tested method of treating a broad range of marital problems, this valuable book makes a unique and much-needed contribution to the field.

Excerpt

Marriage is a struggle, a constant struggle to relate intimately to another human being without being controlled or taken for granted. It can be a playful struggle that enriches both spouses and fosters their growth, or it can be a deadly struggle, in which one or both spouses are convinced that their emotional--even physical--survival is at stake.

Treating dysfunctional marriages is also a struggle, and it too can be either playful and enriching or deadly and draining. Therapists often complain about the difficulty of listening to people's marital woes and the discouragement in seeing them stuck in the same place week after week. But the fascination of helping couples deal with their problems is supplemented by the intellectual excitement of testing and evaluating the varied approaches to marital therapy that have evolved over the years.

Our own approach has found something valuable in all these therapies. It is presented as one way of doing marital therapy. We make no claim that it is the final word, but only that we have found this approach useful.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.