Hope-Focused and Forgiveness-Based Group Interventions to Promote Marital Enrichment



The authors report a clinical trial (N = 43 couples) that compares a hope-focused marital enrichment (E. L. Worthington et al., 1997) with empathy-centered forgiveness-based marital enrichment (M. E. McCullough, 1997; E. L. Worthington, 1998a) and a wait-list control. Treatment group couples improved relative to the wait-list control group in observational measures of communication. Hope-focused marital enrichment produced clinically relevant changes in marital communication, increasing the ratio by 3 to 5 positive to negative interaction ratio units. Hope-focused marital enrichment is discussed in comparison with previous research, which was conducted with couples meeting conjointly. The forgiveness-based marital enrichment psychoeducational group is one of the 1st studies of forgiveness interventions in couples research.