Integrative behavioral couple therapy: an acceptance-based, promising new treatment for couple discord

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Apr;68(2):351-5. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.68.2.351.


Although traditional behavioral couple therapy (TBCT) has garnered the most empirical support of any marital treatment, concerns have been raised about both its durability and clinical significance. Integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT) was designed to address some of these limitations by combining strategies for fostering emotional acceptance with the change-oriented strategies of TBCT. Results of a preliminary clinical trial, in which 21 couples were randomly assigned to TBCT or IBCT, indicated that therapists could keep the 2 treatments distinct, that both husbands and wives receiving IBCT evidenced greater increases in marital satisfaction than couples receiving TBCT, and that IBCT resulted in a greater percentage of couples who either improved or recovered on the basis of clinical significance data. Although preliminary, these findings suggest that IBCT is a promising new treatment for couple discord.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy / methods*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care