93. Couples Therapy

  1. Allan Tasman Professor Chair4,
  2. Jerald Kay Professor Chair5,
  3. Jeffrey A. Lieberman Lawrence Kolb Professor Chairman Director Psychiatrist in Chief6,7,8,
  4. Michael B. First Professor of Clinical Psychiatry6,7,9 and
  5. Mario Maj Professor Chair10
  1. Eva Ritvo1,
  2. Ira D. Glick2 and
  3. Ellen Berman3

Published Online: 8 AUG 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470515167.ch93

Psychiatry, Third Edition

Psychiatry, Third Edition

How to Cite

Ritvo, E., Glick, I. D. and Berman, E. (2008) Couples Therapy, in Psychiatry, Third Edition (eds A. Tasman, J. Kay, J. A. Lieberman, M. B. First and M. Maj), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470515167.ch93

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA

  2. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH, USA

  3. 6

    Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

  4. 7

    New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA

  5. 8

    Columbia University Medical Center, New York – Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA

  6. 9

    Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

  7. 10

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples, Naples, Italy

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, FL, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry and Bchavior Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

  3. 3

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 AUG 2008
  2. Published Print: 16 APR 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470065716

Online ISBN: 9780470515167



  • evaluation of couples;
  • couples therapy;
  • sexual function;
  • sexual dysfunction;
  • divorce;
  • couples development;
  • family of origin;
  • couples dynamic;
  • homosexuality & bisexuality;
  • genograms


This chapter provides a capsule summary of several evaluation and treatment models, and the process for formulating a broad-based diagnosis, setting goals, and formulating a treatment plan. Detailed basic strategies and techniques of couples treatment including how to treat comorbid sexual problems, medical and/or psychiatric problems, and special issues related to gay or lesbian couples are also included. This chapter closes with the essential issues related to results of, and indications for, couples therapy. Our goal is to move couples therapy from the margins of training to a more central position among the various psychotherapy models. The clinician who is able to utilize a couples therapy using a couple's model compared to exclusively relying on individual psychotherapy will have more flexibility and in some cases greater effectiveness in managing the broad array of psychiatric problems now seen in practice.