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Couple Therapy

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The article by Gottman, Gottman, and Atkins (2011) describes an intervention for distressed couples where one partner is deployed overseas. Are there specific interventions they use that you can imagine applying to other couple situations or stresses? For example, can you see how parts of this approach might be useful for situations such as chronic illness in one partner, immigration, or new adoptive parents? What adaptations might you need to make?

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Gottman, J. S. Gottman, & Atkins (2011) ), assert that professionals working with military families can serve by assisting partners in resolving problems, building trust via a relationship approach. The focus is on trust and connection among the couples; and marital enrichment. They assert that the greatest benefit from such an intervention is emphasized communication between partners. Moreover, dyadic form of voluntary interventions to strengthen relationships. A similar problem in relationship dynamics occurs in family dynamics. Thus, a Family system intervention approach would be applicable for either chronic illness, new adoptive parents or immigration. For example, Strategic Family therapy (BSFT, Haley, 1991as cited in Archer & McCarthy, 2007) is based on a brief assessment of a family's current relational patterns.

Relationships are viewed as useful because the family structure is organized ways to solve the entire family's existing problem. These patterns protect the family from the threat of dysfunction or breakup. Haley held that therapeutic change occurs when a family's dysfunctional protective patterns are interrupted. In their article regarding the impact of military deployment on the family, Gottman et al (2011) advocated that the focus should be on relationships involving a couple and/family—not the individual solider. The family ...

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This solution recommends an intervention based on the of a Family system model that reflect a military deployment intervention.

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Emotionally-Focused Couple Therapy

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1. The results of the pilot study comparing pharmacotherapy and EFCT for depressed women with concurrent relationship distress (Dessaulles, Johnson, & Denton, 2003) raised interesting questions about the possible effectiveness of couple therapy for what are typically seen as individual problems. As a counsellor, how might you assess an individual client to determine whether couple (or family) therapy might in fact be equally effective, or more effective?

2. If you thought it might make sense to change the case to a couple/family case, how might you speak to the client about this? How might you make the transition from an individual case to a couple/family case?

3. Finally, speculate about how might you speak to the other member of the couple (or to the other members of the family) in the first conjoint session, to minimize the effect of your having already had one individual session with the initial client?

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