Enhanced Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy for Couples: A Contextual Approach
Enhanced Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy for Couples expands the boundaries of cognitive behavioral therapy with a framework that goes beyond partners' moment-to-moment interactions and takes into account the personal characteristics of the two individuals, their dyadic interactions, and influences of the couple's interpersonal and physical environment.
The authors emphasize what each partner brings to the relationship, including each person's past relationship experiences, current motives or needs, personality style, and psychopathology. Furthermore, they consider how the couple's environment influences relationship functioning, including such factors as the couple's family systems, community and cultural influences, and other life-circumstances such as job loss or a death in the family.
The authors also focus on ways to intervene when the couple struggles with developmental changes experienced by either partner or the couple, such as new challenges when children move into adolescence. This contextual approach helps couples understand their healthy individual differences, any unresolved personal issues and possible psychopathology, and individual and familial needs.
This groundbreaking text moves beyond a focus on dysfunctional aspects of relationships to provide an equal emphasis on the contributions that positive behavior, cognitions, and emotions play in couples' relationships. In addition, individuals' discrete behavioral, cognitive, and affective responses are viewed within the context of broader relationship patterns and themes such as boundaries, distribution of power, and investment of oneself in the relationship.
Chapters explore interventions for modifying behavior, cognitions, and deficits or excesses in emotional responses, ways to address individual psychopathology, strategies for assisting couples in coping with environmental demands, and approaches for enhancing relationship strengths.
The authors provide a unique integration of theory, research, and practical suggestions that will be appealing to students, scholars, and practitioners. They have integrated work from a variety of theoretical perspectives, and the book will be appealing to couple specialists across disciplines and theoretical orientations. They continue their commitment to empirical findings and demonstrate how these findings can be used sensitively in clinical settings, while considering each couple's uniqueness.
The book is easy to read and filled with clinical examples that bring their ideas to life. Whether working with couples or with individual clients experiencing relationship challenges, therapists and counselors will find this book to be indispensable.
I. Theoretical and Empirical Foundations
- Behavioral Factors in Couples' Relationship Problems
- Cognitive and Emotional Factors in Couples' Relationships
- Why Couples Are the Way They Are: Individual Influences
- Interpersonal Processes: Partners' Interactions With Each Other and Their Environment
- An Adaptation Model of Relationship Functioning
II. Clinical Assessment and Intervention
- Conducting Couples Therapy
- Behavioral Interventions
- Interventions for Modifying Cognitions
- Addressing Emotions
- Interventions for Couple Patterns and Interactions
- Addressing Individual Psychopathology, Unresolved Issues, and Interpersonal Traumas Within Couple Therapy
- Interventions for Environmental Demands
- Concluding Remarks
About the Authors
Norman B. Epstein is professor in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1974. His teaching, research, and professional publications have been focused on understanding and treating dysfunction in couple and family relationships as well as on the relationship between individual psychopathology and relationship functioning. He has developed and evaluated cognitive–behavioral assessment and treatment procedures for distressed couples. In addition, he has conducted empirical studies of depression and anxiety within the family context, parent–child communication patterns, family stress and coping, and cognitive factors in marital and family dysfunction.
Throughout his career, he has maintained a part-time clinical practice with individuals, couples, and families. He is a clinical member and an approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, with 26 years of experience in training and supervising couples and family therapists.
He is an APA Fellow, a Diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology, and a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Since the early 1980s, he and Donald H. Baucom have had a very productive collaboration and good friendship as they have worked to advance theory, research, and clinical practice in the area of couple relationships.
Donald H. Baucom is professor and director of clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from that university in 1976. Since that time, he has pursued research on couples with a variety of emphases. He has conducted several investigations evaluating the efficacy of cognitive–behavioral couples therapy. He also conducts intervention research to prevent marital distress among newlyweds, as well as couple-based interventions for couples experiencing health problems.
He has won several teaching awards, and he has held an endowed chair at the University of North Carolina. He is an APA member, a Diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology, and a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.
In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate students, he presents frequent workshops and lectures to professional and lay audiences. He has been an active clinician throughout his career, working with both couples and individual adults. He and Norman B. Epstein began their research and writing collaboration in the early 1980s and have enjoyed decades of collaborative contributions to the empirical, theoretical, and clinical literatures, along with a valued friendship.