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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A one year follow-up of the differential effects of experiential and systemic interventions in resolving marital conflict Rempel, Rosa


This study investigated the differential effects of two interventions in the treatment of marital discord one year following the termination of ten sessions of marital counselling on the dependent measures of conflict resolution (CRS), attainment of specified relationship goals (GAS), target complaint reduction (TC) and increased marital adjustment (DAS). The two treatments under investigation were an experiential intervention in which the goal is for partners to access and acknowledge, in both themselves and the other, previously unexpressed feelings underlying the reactive behaviour patterns and a systemic intervention in which the focus is on modifying patterns of communication. Twenty couples, ten from each treatment group, completed the standardized instruments as well as a qualitative follow-up questionnaire. The results of this study indicated that both treatment groups made significant gains at termination of active therapy on measures of goal attainment, marital adjustment, conflict resolution, and target complaints. The results also indicated that these gains were maintained over a one year period. Indeed, both treatments were effective in treating couples with problems of marital discord and have powerful components for changing the nature of relationships and maintaining those changes over a one year period.

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