Incorporating feedback, or responses from therapy clients, into psychotherapy sessions, has been shown to have a dramatically positive effect on the success of recovery and healing. But such studies have not included instances of marriage counseling, providing the inspiration for a new study aimed at determining whether feedback has an influence on treatment for relationships.
The ambitious research project, which was performed with an extensive group of couples in Norway, focused on incorporating four simple feedback questions into the beginning of each therapy session. The questions were based on reported thoughts and feelings about how each individual client felt in individual, interpersonal, social, and overall bases. With these responses in mind, therapy sessions then proceeded to either address reported issues and change the direction of the therapy itself, or continue down the prescribed path in instances of satisfaction with progress. The therapists participating in the study were also given training in order to help them adapt therapy styles and subjects according to the changing needs of their clients.
As a result of this feedback, therapy sessions were able to work with progress as it happened, rather than pick a direction and hope for the best until the full treatment had been carried out. The results of the study highlighted the potential for the implementation of a simple feedback system to dramatically improve therapy results: Those couples who used feedback as part of their sessions reported an over 40% decrease in rates of divorce and separation than the control group six months after therapy, and were also significantly more likely to report relationship satisfaction. The findings may help feedback systems become more prevalent in a broader range of therapy types and situations.
Medical News Today. (2009, August 4). Therapy technique cuts divorce/separation rate by nearly 50 percent. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/159655.php
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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