Comparison of integrated systemic and emotionally focused approaches to couples therapy

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1992 Dec;60(6):962-9. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.60.6.962.


This study compared couples receiving two marital therapy approaches and a control group over a 10-week treatment period. Integrated systemic therapy (IST) and an emotionally focused approach (EFT) were both found to be superior to the control and to be equally effective in alleviating marital distress, facilitating conflict resolution and goal attainment, and reducing target complaints at termination. IST couples, however, showed greater maintenance of gains from termination to 4-month follow-up on marital satisfaction and goal attainment. Clients' perceptions of how change occurred and issues related to the use of a team of observers in IST are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy / methods*
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory