Worried About us: Evaluating an Intervention for Relationship-Based Anxiety

Fam Process. 2017 Mar;56(1):45-58. doi: 10.1111/famp.12175. Epub 2015 Aug 25.


Although romantic relationships are commonly a source of pleasure and comfort, for some individuals they can be a source of persistent anxiety. The aim of the current investigation was to explore the construct of relationship-based anxiety and to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief couple-based psychoeducational session for this issue. Common behavioral patterns and cognitive tendencies seen among individuals with relationship-based anxiety were examined, including excessive reassurance-seeking, self-silencing, and partner accommodation. In the current investigation, a single psychoeducational session was developed to address these maladaptive interactive patterns of behavior specifically. The session was administered to a sample of 21 couples and was found to decrease levels of reassurance-seeking and self-silencing significantly among individuals with relationship anxiety, and to decrease levels of maladaptive accommodation behaviors significantly in their partners.

Keywords: Anxiety; Couples; Reassurance-seeking; Relationship distress; angustia relacional; ansiedad; búsqueda de consuelo; parejas; 伴侣; 关系困扰; 寻求安抚; 焦虑.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Couples Therapy / methods*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult