marital therapy


Summary: A form of psychotherapy involving the husband and wife and directed to improving the marital relationship.

Top Publications

  1. Stith S, Rosen K, McCollum E. Effectiveness of couples treatment for spouse abuse. J Marital Fam Ther. 2003;29:407-26 pubmed
  2. Beach S, Fincham F, Katz J. Marital therapy in the treatment of depression: toward a third generation of therapy and research. Clin Psychol Rev. 1998;18:635-61 pubmed
    Two generations of outcome research demonstrate the potential efficacy of marital therapy in the treatment of depression...
  3. Kung W. The intertwined relationship between depression and marital distress: elements of marital therapy conductive to effective treatment outcome. J Marital Fam Ther. 2000;26:51-63 pubmed
    ..The empirical evidence for the efficacy of these models is also reviewed, suggesting elements of marital therapy that are conducive to effective treatment outcome.
  4. Shadish W, Baldwin S. Effects of behavioral marital therapy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005;73:6-14 pubmed
    This meta-analysis summarizes results from 30 randomized experiments that compare behavioral marital therapy with no-treatment control with distressed couples...
  5. Fals Stewart W, Yates B, Klostermann K. Assessing the costs, benefits, cost-benefit ratio, and cost-effectiveness of marital and family treatments: why we should and how we can. J Fam Psychol. 2005;19:28-39 pubmed
    ..There are significant opportunities to promote the use of such treatments by conducting and reporting the results of cost analyses. ..
  6. Montagno M, Svatovic M, Levenson H. Short-term and long-term effects of training in emotionally focused couple therapy: professional and personal aspects. J Marital Fam Ther. 2011;37:380-92 pubmed publisher
  7. Croyle K, Waltz J. Emotional awareness and couples' relationship satisfaction. J Marital Fam Ther. 2002;28:435-44 pubmed
    ..Discrepancy between partners' levels of awareness was related to lower satisfaction for both men and women. ..
  8. Badr H, Taylor C. Sexual dysfunction and spousal communication in couples coping with prostate cancer. Psychooncology. 2009;18:735-46 pubmed publisher
  9. Perelman M. Sex coaching for physicians: combination treatment for patient and partner. Int J Impot Res. 2003;15 Suppl 5:S67-74 pubmed
    ..4). Finally, the need for more patient and partner educational materials to assist the physician in overcoming a patient/partner's emotional barriers to sexual success in a time efficient manner are discussed. ..

More Information


  1. Nickel M, Nickel C, Tritt K, Lahmann C, Leiberich P, Loew T, et al. [Inpatient treatment of woman with depressive disorders due to stress--does inclusion of the partner in treatment influence outcome? A randomized, controlled, prospective study]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2004;154:378-82 pubmed
  2. Asai S, Olson D. Culturally sensitive adaptation of PREPARE with Japanese premarital couples. J Marital Fam Ther. 2004;30:411-26 pubmed
    ..Several unique features of the Japanese premarital types are identified and discussed. Suggestions are provided for continued enhancement in adaptation process of PREPARE with Japanese premarital couples. ..
  3. McCrady B, Hayaki J, Epstein E, Hirsch L. Testing hypothesized predictors of change in conjoint behavioral alcoholism treatment for men. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2002;26:463-70 pubmed
    ..Results provided substantial support for the ABCT model, particularly in relationship to the role of the spouse in affecting heavy drinking. ..
  4. Lee R, Nichols W. The doctoral education of professional marriage and family therapists. J Marital Fam Ther. 2010;36:259-69 pubmed publisher
    ..However, underlying this specialty education are three transcendental goals: sophistication of family systems scholarship, socialization into the profession of MFT, and cultivation of professional maturity. ..
  5. Ruff S, McComb J, Coker C, Sprenkle D. Behavioral couples therapy for the treatment of substance abuse: a substantive and methodological review of O'Farrell, Fals-Stewart, and colleagues' program of research. Fam Process. 2010;49:439-56 pubmed publisher
    ..Although there are several versions of BCT developed for the treatment of substance abuse this paper focuses on the version developed by O'Farrell, Fals-Stewart, and colleagues. ..
  6. Curwood S, Degeer I, Hymmen P, Lehmann P. Using strength-based approaches to explore pretreatment change in men who abuse their partners. J Interpers Violence. 2011;26:2698-715 pubmed publisher
  7. Plaud J, Dubbert P, Holm J, Wittrock D, Smith P, Edison J, et al. Erectile dysfunction in men with chronic medical illness. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 1996;27:11-9 pubmed
    ..5% of the variance. Results of these analyses are discussed in order to obtain an understanding of the interrelationship between behavioral, psychological, and interpersonal variables in the onset and course of sexual dysfunction. ..
  8. Kendurkar A, Kaur B, Agarwal A, Singh H, Agarwal V. Profile of adult patients attending a marriage and sex clinic in India. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2008;54:486-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Sexual activity continues to be strongly influenced by culturally held beliefs. This influence is more troublesome for young and unmarried persons who have not changed over the period. ..
  9. Hawkins A, Blanchard V, Baldwin S, Fawcett E. Does marriage and relationship education work? A meta-analytic study. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008;76:723-34 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, intervention outcomes important to policy makers, such as relationship stability and aggression, rarely have been addressed. ..
  10. Ungar M. Practicing as a postmodern supervisor. J Marital Fam Ther. 2006;32:59-71 pubmed
    ..In the last part of this article, concepts that inform a postmodern approach to supervision, borrowed from the literature on narrative and constructionist therapy, are discussed. ..
  11. Atkins D, Dimidjian S, Bedics J, Christensen A. Couple discord and depression in couples during couple therapy and in depressed individuals during depression treatment. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2009;77:1089-99 pubmed publisher
    ..2 treatment-seeking samples: individuals seeking treatment for depression (N = 120) and couples seeking marital therapy (N = 134 couples)...
  12. Althof S. What's new in sex therapy (CME). J Sex Med. 2010;7:5-13; quiz 14-5 pubmed publisher
    ..New methods continue to be developed and appraised and the methodology, design, and sophistication of sex therapy outcome research have significantly advanced. ..
  13. Lambert Shute J, Fruhauf C. Aging issues: unanswered questions in marital and family therapy literature. J Marital Fam Ther. 2011;37:27-36 pubmed publisher
    ..The articles reviewed in this study indicated a greater focus on aging issues and addressing issues during this life cycle stage. ..
  14. Turner W, Wieling E, Allen W. Developing culturally effective family-based research programs: implications for family therapists. J Marital Fam Ther. 2004;30:257-70 pubmed
    ..In this article we discuss some of the etiological and methodological issues associated with planning, conducting, and disseminating family-based prevention and intervention research programs with ethnic minority families. ..
  15. Stanton M. Getting reluctant substance abusers to engage in treatment/self-help: a review of outcomes and clinical options. J Marital Fam Ther. 2004;30:165-82 pubmed
    ..quot;Best bet" clinical options are presented in terms of which particular approach appears to have the edge with which kind of substance abuser. ..
  16. Thomas B. Treating troubled families: therapeutic scenario in India. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2012;24:91-8 pubmed publisher
  17. Sexton T, Ridley C. Implications of a moderated common factors approach: does it move the field forward?. J Marital Fam Ther. 2004;30:159-63 pubmed
    ..In this commentary, we discuss what we think are important issues to have emerged from these articles. Our hope is that the issues we present below will take the debate and discussion one step further. ..
  18. Constantine M, Juby H, Liang J. Examining multicultural counseling competence and race-related attitudes among white marital and family therapists. J Marital Fam Ther. 2001;27:353-62 pubmed
    ..Implications for marital and family therapy training, practice, and research are discussed. ..
  19. Denton W, Burleson B, Clark T, Rodriguez C, Hobbs B. A randomized trial of emotion-focused therapy for couples in a training clinic. J Marital Fam Ther. 2000;26:65-78 pubmed
    ..Supplementary analyses identified variables associated with gains in therapy and with dropping out of the study. ..
  20. Gehart D, Ratliff D, Lyle R. Qualitative research in family therapy: a substantive and methodological review. J Marital Fam Ther. 2001;27:261-74 pubmed
    ..We also provide recommendations for future research. ..
  21. Klever P. Goal direction and effectiveness, emotional maturity, and nuclear family functioning. J Marital Fam Ther. 2009;35:308-24 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, couple goal effectiveness and emotional maturity were associated with nuclear family functioning more strongly than individual goal effectiveness and emotional maturity were associated with individual functioning. ..
  22. Green M, Murphy M, Blumer M. Marriage and family therapists' comfort working with lesbian and gay male clients: the influence of religious practices and support for lesbian and gay male human rights. J Homosex. 2010;57:1258-73 pubmed publisher
    ..When support for lesbian and gay male human rights was considered, the level of religious practices was no longer predictive of comfort working with lesbian and gay male clients. ..
  23. Graller J, Nielsen A, Garber B, Davison L, Gable L, Seidenberg H. Concurrent therapies: a model for collaboration between psychoanalysts and other therapists. J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 2001;49:587-606 pubmed
    ..The proposed model centers on the transference-countertransference configurations within the therapeutic field, and serves as an organizer highlighting areas for discussion. ..
  24. Zoljić Ramović T, Hadzibajrić A, Dziho F, Kudra A. [Marital therapy at the day care hospital department for alcoholism and other drug addictions at the Sarajevo Canton]. Med Arh. 2001;55:141-2 pubmed
    ..Therapeutic program is focused on marital relations. The improvement of communication between marital partners positively reflects on entire family, and better quality relations are created in the entire family environment. ..
  25. Schiepek G, Tominschek I, Karch S, Lutz J, Mulert C, Meindl T, et al. A controlled single case study with repeated fMRI measurements during the treatment of a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder: testing the nonlinear dynamics approach to psychotherapy. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2009;10:658-68 pubmed publisher
  26. Maisto S, McKay J, O Farrell T. Twelve-month abstinence from alcohol and long-term drinking and marital outcomes in men with severe alcohol problems. J Stud Alcohol. 1998;59:591-8 pubmed
    ..investigate the relationship between abstinence from alcohol during the first year following group behavioral marital therapy (BMT) for alcohol problems and drinking and marital functioning through 30 months post-group BMT...
  27. Karasu S. The institution of marriage: terminable or interminable?. Am J Psychother. 2007;61:1-16 pubmed
    ..It is incumbent on clinicians to be sensitive to the many dimensions of this extraordinary institution as it relates to their patients. ..
  28. Hodgson J, Lamson A, Feldhousen E. Use of simulated clients in marriage and family therapy education. J Marital Fam Ther. 2007;33:35-50 pubmed
    ..Educational, clinical, and research recommendations include tools to implement simulation exercises into marriage and family therapy programs as well as suggestions to assess for teaching effectiveness. ..
  29. Rosenberg T, Pace M. Burnout among mental health professionals: special considerations for the marriage and family therapist. J Marital Fam Ther. 2006;32:87-99 pubmed
    ..Predictors of clinician burnout include hours worked per week and job setting. Factor analysis indicates that the MBI is an appropriate assessment tool for measuring burnout among MFTs. Implications for clinical practice are discussed. ..
  30. Inman A. Supervisor multicultural competence and its relation to supervisory process and outcome. J Marital Fam Ther. 2006;32:73-85 pubmed
    ..Findings are discussed within the context of theoretical, empirical, and practical implications for multicultural supervision. ..
  31. Perelman M. FSD partner issues: expanding sex therapy with sildenafil. J Sex Marital Ther. 2002;28 Suppl 1:195-204 pubmed
  32. Baucom B, Atkins D, Eldridge K, McFarland P, Sevier M, Christensen A. The language of demand/withdraw: verbal and vocal expression in dyadic interactions. J Fam Psychol. 2011;25:570-80 pubmed publisher
    ..Both influence tactics and emotional arousal were uniquely associated with demand/withdraw behavior. Implications of results are discussed for refining theories of demand/withdraw interaction. ..
  33. Charlés L, Thomas D, Thornton M. Overcoming bias toward same-sex couples: a case study from inside an MFT ethics classroom. J Marital Fam Ther. 2005;31:239-49 pubmed
  34. Cano A, Christian Herman J, O Leary K, Avery Leaf S. Antecedents and consequences of negative marital stressors. J Marital Fam Ther. 2002;28:145-51 pubmed
    ..Finally, baseline marital discord and additional marital stressors contribute to future marital dissolution. Clinical and research implications are discussed. ..
  35. Keiley M, Dolbin M, Hill J, Karuppaswamy N, Liu T, Natrajan R, et al. The Cultural Genogram: experiences from within a marriage and family therapy training program. J Marital Fam Ther. 2002;28:165-78 pubmed
  36. Christenson J, Crane D. Estimating the cost of direct reimbursement of marriage and family therapy under Medicare. J Marital Fam Ther. 2004;30:515-25 pubmed
    ..1 million per year) and dollar 13.9 million (or dollar 2.8 million per year), respectively. This represents an increase of less than 1/2 of 1% of the Medicare mental health budget, and less than .0015% of Medicare expenditures overall. ..
  37. Hertoft P. [Psychotherapeutic treatment of sexual dysfunction--or from sex therapy to marital therapy]. Ugeskr Laeger. 2002;164:4805-8 pubmed
  38. Sprenkle D. Intervention research in couple and family therapy: a methodological and substantive review and an introduction to the special issue. J Marital Fam Ther. 2012;38:3-29 pubmed publisher
    ..The latter part of the papers summarizes and makes comments on the substantive findings in the 12 papers in this issue, as well as on the field as a whole. ..
  39. Escudero V, Friedlander M, Heatherington L. Using the e-SOFTA for video training and research on alliance-related behavior. Psychotherapy (Chic). 2011;48:138-47 pubmed publisher
  40. Serovich J, Mosack K. Training issues for supervisors of marriage and family therapists working with persons living with HIV. J Marital Fam Ther. 2000;26:103-11 pubmed
    ..Third, special therapeutic considerations will be provided to supervisors of therapists working with stigmatized populations. ..
  41. Chasin R, Roth S, Bograd M. Action methods in systemic therapy: dramatizing ideal futures and reformed pasts with couples. Fam Process. 1989;28:121-36 pubmed
  42. Laszloffy T, Habekost J. Using experiential tasks to enhance cultural sensitivity among MFT trainees. J Marital Fam Ther. 2010;36:333-46 pubmed publisher
    ..This article presents a model for how to teach about issues of diversity in ways that promote both cultural awareness and sensitivity but with emphasis on enhancing sensitivity through the use of a series of experiential tasks. ..
  43. Jacobson N, Truax P. Clinical significance: a statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1991;59:12-9 pubmed
    ..A reliable change index (RC) is also proposed to determine whether the magnitude of change for a given client is statistically reliable. The inclusion of the RC leads to a twofold criterion for clinically significant change. ..
  44. Winton M. Gender, sexual dysfunctions, and the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. J Sex Marital Ther. 2001;27:333-7 pubmed
    ..The purpose of this study is to examine male and female sexual dysfunctions present in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. The Journal of Sex Research, the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, and the Archives of Sexual Behavior ..
  45. Bouchard S, Sabourin S. Borderline personality disorder and couple dysfunctions. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2009;11:55-62 pubmed
    ..The relationship between couple dynamics (including partner personality characteristics) and BPD symptomatology is probably bidirectional or reciprocal. The review concludes with an exploration of diagnostic and treatment implications. ..
  46. Haddock S, MacPhee D, Zimmerman T. AAMFT Master Series tapes: an analysis of the inclusion of feminist principles into family therapy practice. J Marital Fam Ther. 2001;27:487-500 pubmed
    ..The few tapes portraying effective incorporation of feminist principles in family therapy indicate that a handful of behaviors are key to this approach. ..
  47. Eldridge K, Sevier M, Jones J, Atkins D, Christensen A. Demand-withdraw communication in severely distressed, moderately distressed, and nondistressed couples: rigidity and polarity during relationship and personal problem discussions. J Fam Psychol. 2007;21:218-26 pubmed
    ..Across the relationship and personal problem discussions, a pattern of gender polarity emerged when husbands held the burden of changing. ..
  48. Halford W, Lizzio A, Wilson K, Occhipinti S. Does working at your marriage help? Couple relationship self-regulation and satisfaction in the first 4 years of marriage. J Fam Psychol. 2007;21:185-94 pubmed
    ..There was mixed support for the primary hypothesis. SR cross-sectionally and prospectively predicted the intercept, but it did not predict the slope, of relationship satisfaction. ..
  49. Nelson T, Smock S. Challenges of an outcome-based perspective for marriage and family therapy education. Fam Process. 2005;44:355-62 pubmed
  50. Beitin B, Allen K. Resilience in Arab American couples after September 11, 2001: a systems perspective. J Marital Fam Ther. 2005;31:251-67 pubmed
  51. Butler M, Dahlin S, Fife S. "Languaging" factors affecting clients' acceptance of forgiveness intervention in marital therapy. J Marital Fam Ther. 2002;28:285-98 pubmed
    ..Other results are discussed. We conclude that therapists should be less apprehensive about using forgiveness, but need to inform themselves better concerning its purpose, process, and articulation. ..
  52. Rosen K, Matheson J, Stith S, McCollum E, Locke L. Negotiated time-out: a de-escalation tool for couples. J Marital Fam Ther. 2003;29:291-8 pubmed
    ..We describe the negotiated time-out procedure that we developed and use feedback from our clients to illustrate its usefulness. ..
  53. Kowal J, Johnson S, Lee A. Chronic illness in couples: a case for emotionally focused therapy. J Marital Fam Ther. 2003;29:299-310 pubmed
    ..A number of clinical approaches for working with chronic illness in couples are outlined, a particular case is made for the utility of emotionally focused therapy, and a case study is presented. ..