Susan M. Johnson. EdD, Department of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and director, Ottawa Couple and Family Institute.
THE REVOLUTION IN COUPLE THERAPY: A PRACTITIONER-SCIENTIST PERSPECTIVE
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 365–384, July 2003
How to Cite
Johnson, S. M. (2003), THE REVOLUTION IN COUPLE THERAPY: A PRACTITIONER-SCIENTIST PERSPECTIVE. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29: 365–384. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2003.tb01213.x
This article was also publishedd as chapter 6, “Marital Problems.” In the book edited by D.H. Sprenkle (2002). Effectiveness Research in Marriage and Family Therapy (pp. 163-190). Alexandria, VA: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, web site: www.aamft.org, phone:(703) 838-9808.
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
This article offers an overview of the expanding field of couple therapy, focusing on what the author considers to be new and even revolutionary in this field. In terms of outcome research, this article suggests that differential treatment effects are discernable. Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) appears to demonstrate the best outcomes at present. The most significant differences between research studies and everyday clinical practice may be the levels of therapist supervision rather than the essential nature of clients. The manualization of treatment is also viewed positively in this review. Areas of growth are the mapping of the territory of distress, understanding the process of change, couple therapy as an effective intervention for “individual” disorders, and the integration into couple therapy of clinical research, such as the research on gender and responses in therapy, and research on adult attachment. Practitioner-scientists can contribute to this evolving field by systematic observation and by reminding researchers of the need for clinical relevance. Couple therapy is now integrating description, prediction and explanation. As a result, theory, practice and systematic investigation are beginning to create a coherent whole.