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Fostering New Relational Experience: Therapy

Essay by   •  September 30, 2017  •  Article Review  •  548 Words (3 Pages)  •  821 Views

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Within the multitudinous technique repertoire of therapists, there exists a form of therapy known as reality therapy. This method of treatment is defined as “a delivery system for helping individuals take more effective control of their lives.” (Corey, 2012, p. 306). The theory upon which this method is based, choice theory, is defined as “the theoretical basis for reality therapy; it explains why and how we function.” (Corey, 2012, p. 306). In the context of couple therapy, reality therapy could easily be at the forefront of the counselor’s techniques, since this method is centralized on the client’s relationships, quality of said relationships, or lack thereof. According to Gerald Corey (2012), “[m]any of the problems of clients are caused by their inability to connect, to get close to others, or to have a satisfying or successful relationship with at least one significant person in their lives.” (p. 305).

In the article, the author examines the foundational methods of effective couple therapy, while also comparing insight-oriented therapy and behavioral therapy. One of the key foundations discussed is the therapist’s facilitative capacity, fostering an “environment where both partners can feel their feelings, think their thoughts, and have the experience of being understood.” (Marmarosh, 2013, p. 1). The challenge in couple therapy not only lies in the therapist’s capacity to provide the aforementioned atmosphere, but also maintain it by empathizing with both clients, versus the typical one client in individual therapy sessions. By being empathetic, the therapist can bring reasons for behavior to the surface, and encourage understanding and vulnerability between the clients, and continued empathy towards each other.

Marmarosh (2013) asserts that “studies have shown that Emotion-Focused Coup Psychotherapy (emphasizing interventions that address vulnerable emotions) facilitates more change compared with Behavioral Couple Psychotherapy (emphasizing interventions that mainly target behavioral changes).” (p. 3). Marmarosh (2013) also presented findings of a study conducted in 1991, which found that “there was no significant difference between the two treatments at termination and 6-month posttreatment; however, they found that at 4-year follow-up, a higher percentage of couples who received behavioral therapy had divorced compared with those receiving the insight-oriented treatment.” (p. 4). This supports the utility of reality therapy in couple therapy, as it asserts that the more a person knows about his or her individual needs, the better he or she can relate to others, like a partner. By thoroughly examining their individual needs of fulfillment, the clients will become more intimate because of the civilized and open expression of their vulnerabilities, rather than being hostile and defensive.



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