Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Client-directed therapy technique drastically reduces divorce/separation rates

16.11.2009
Professor finds strong link between counseling approach and relationship success

Using four simple questions to generate client-directed feedback can greatly increase the chances that struggling couples will stay together, according to a recently published study.

According to the largest clinical trial with couples to date – which was co-authored by University of Rhode Island Human Development and Family Studies Professor Jacqueline Sparks – couples that had systematic client feedback incorporated into their sessions were 46.2 percent less likely to wind up divorced or separated.

The largest clinical trial to date, the findings of the study were published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Sparks co-authored the two-year study – conducted at the Vestfold Family Counseling Center in Norway – with Barry Duncan of Heart and Soul of Change Project and Morten Anker of the Family Counseling Office in Vestfold.

The team of U.S. and Norwegian researchers studied 205 randomly selected couples from southern Norway for two years from October 2005 through December 2007. The couples showed problems typical of struggling relationships, from communication problems to infidelity and physical or psychological issues. Half of the couples in the study used the client feedback system, while the other half did not.

The couples using the feedback methods used a visual scale at the start of each session to rate their well being in four categories – individual, interpersonal, social and overall. Using the Outcome Rating Scale system as a guide, approaches for therapy could be altered in real time, helping to open lines of communication between clients and therapists.

This, in turn, helped give the client a sense of ownership in their healing process.

"According to the research, when clients believe they – not the therapist – are responsible for change, results are better and last longer," Sparks said. "In some therapy, clients can become passive and wait for the therapist to come up with the 'magic bullet.' If they get better, they figure it was the therapist. These kinds of situations often lead to dependency, where clients are reluctant to end treatment or get caught in a kind of treatment revolving door—after therapy they lose ground and return."

Participants in the study were contacted six months after their final therapy session. Couples using the Outcome Rating Scale reported feeling more satisfied in their relationships, with only 18.4 percent of those couples indicating they had separated or divorced, compared to 34.2 percent for those couples who didn't have client-based feedback incorporated into their sessions.

"The most important element for successful therapy is client engagement," Sparks said. "When clients buy into the process, believe it will be helpful, and participate with the therapist in working on difficulties, they will have better outcomes."

While the Outcome Rating Scale system helped couples, it also improved the performance rates of therapists. Therapists participating in the study were trained on how to integrate the findings of the Outcome Rating Scale into their counseling sessions.

"We know that therapists vary significantly in how skilled they are in engaging clients," Sparks said. "In our study, when poorer performing therapists asked for and used client feedback, they improved enough to rank with the best performing therapists. So, therapist variability was reduced, with feedback being the leveler. When this happened, given that our sample was large enough to actually tell us something, we found the superior effect for feedback couples."

Sparks teaches this outcome management protocol as a training model in URI's masters program in couple and family therapy. For more on outcome and session rating scales, visit http://heartandsoulofchange.com.

Shane Donaldson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu
http://heartandsoulofchange.com

Further reports about: Client-directed therapy Divorce Rating Sparks relationship success

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>