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Time-limited sex therapy for couples : a controlled evaluation of group and individual couple intervention Nemetz, Georgia Helen

Abstract

The effectiveness of a behaviourally based, broad band therapy for sexually dysfunctional couples was examined. Twenty-four couples were randomly assigned to either individual or group couple treatment. Treatment, identical for both conditions, consisted of: information and education; emphasis on mutual responsibility; attitude change skills training; communication facilitation; reduction of all forms of sexual anxiety and graduated behavioral homework assignments. Measures of treatment effectiveness were repeatedly taken during a two-week baseline, five weeks of treatment and at the ends of the three week and three month follow-up periods. These measures included the Sexual Behavior Index, the Sexual Arousal Inventory and the Sexual Satisfaction Index. The six couples randomly assigned to the control condition were subjected to identical measurement without the benefit of treatment. Increases in arousal, satisfaction and behavior were evidenced for both treatment groups; however a trend towards increased generalization and maintenance of improvement was evidenced for those receiving group treatment. Improvement was maintained through the three month follow-ups. Control clients showed no improvement and evidenced trends towards deterioration. The results of the present study document the efficacy of the short term behaviorally based program and indicate the viability of the group format as a cost-effective alternative to individual intervention.

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