Common complaints presented by couples who seek behavioral marital therapy (BMT) are lack of communication and inability to solve problems. This study concerns itself with the following questions: (a) Do couples change their communication and problem-solving behavior when treated with BMT? (b) Are these changes significant in a clinical sense? (c) Do treated couples change both the frequency and the sequence or pattern of their communication? Three samples were used as follows: 29 couples treated with BMT, 14 waiting-list control couples, and 12 nondistressed couples. Behavioral codings obtained from couples' videotaped problem discussions provided the measure for communication and problem solving. The results of the frequency analysis showed that the treatment was effective in changing the base rates of the couples' communication skills in the expected direction and to a clinically significant extent. Changes became even more apparent when methods of sequential analysis were used. The interaction patterns of the treated couples closely resembled the pattern exhibited by the nondistressed couples while the waiting-list couples did not change at all during their waiting time. However, one unexpected finding emerged. After therapy, BMT couples appeared to be sensitized to react to aversive stimuli from their spouses. In general, the results point to the value of behavioral observation in order to improve therapeutic interventions on an empirical basis.Perhaps the most common complaint presented by couples who seek marital therapy is lack of communication (Birchler, 1979). Therefore, some form of communication skills training is germane to any treatment program for relationship problems (Jacobson & Margolin, 1979). Accordingly, in most behavioral marital therapy (BMT) programs communication training (CT) and problem-solving training (PST) are an integral part of the treatment. This focus on communication is due not only to the obvious needs of the clients but also follows directly from theoretical assumptions borrowed from Social Learning
This paper describes the use of a scale to assess the therapist's perception of the client and the client's perception of the therapist within behaviour therapy. A factor analysis revealed specific therapist and client factors which describe aspects of each participant's activity within sessions. The results suggest that the therapist's interpersonal manner is important in treatment and that attention should be given to this in training behaviour therapists.
Thirty-five phobic patients were assessed in order to investigate the specific therapist and patient factors operative within treatment. Although the factors were highly correlated, they did distinguish between those patients who benefited differentially from treatment.
A category system for coding the interaction in psychotherapy (CIP) is presented. Six therapists carried out 64 standardized intake sessions with clients presenting with chronic insomnia. The sessions were fully coded by three raters using the CIP. The 19 client categories as well as the 18 therapist categories showed sufficient reliability with kappa coefficients of 0.80 and 0.79 respectively. The frequencies of the client and the therapist categories of the first versus the second half of the interview were compared. Shifts in the behavioural patterns of therapists and clients during the course of the interviews are in accordance with the given rationale of the session. Correlations between the observational data and subjective ratings of the participants are further evidence for the utility of the CIP.
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