Conclusions

The field of couple therapy is a wide and varied one, and there are almost as many different approaches to treatment as in individual psychotherapy. The relatively brief therapeutic method presented here, behavioural-systems couple therapy, is an eclectic one, taking techniques from two approaches of proven efficacy and combining them into a flexible and versatile therapy capable of being used in a wide variety of presenting problems. These include simple relationship problems, psychosexual problems, and such psychiatric conditions as anxiety, depression, and morbid jealousy. It is relatively easy to teach, and although it has not yet been subjected to controlled trials it can be assumed to be no less effective than its component therapies which are both effective. There are few contraindications for the therapy, and it can be used both as a therapy in its own right or as an adjunctive therapy in, for example, the treatment of depression or psychosis. It can thus be a useful addition to the various methods available for the reduction of distress, whether in couples or individuals.

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