Helping Couples Change: A Social Learning Approach to Marital Therapy

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Now available in paper for the first time, this classic work presents a structured, rigorously tested, six-stage strategy for improving intimate relationships. Therapists and counselors will benefit from practical, step-by-step guidance for deciding how, why, and when to employ such widely cited Stuart techniques as "caring days," communication improvements, behavioral contracting, the "powergram" procedure for decision making, and conflict containment. These techniques not only provide a program for identifying and producing positive behavior change, but give the therapist the tools to assess therapeutic outcome and empirically validate the efficacy of change. A new preface to the paperback edition situates the book within the contemporary couple therapy landscape and reflects on the continuing evolution of the author's approach.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Long before it became fashionable for therapists to actually spell out in detail what they do in therapy, as in today's many treatment manuals, Dick Stuart wrote one of the first groundbreaking couple therapy books that accomplished just that. In 1980, Helping Couples Change seemed destined to become a true 'classic.' Now, over two decades later, it has most emphatically achieved that status."--Alan S. Gurman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School
The Behavior Therapist

"This is an excellent volume, comprehensive, insightful, well written. ...Perhaps we may call it historic, a landmark contribution to the study of changing human relationships."--The Behavior Therapist
The American Journal of Family Therapy

"Since Stuart is the founding father of behavioral marital therapy, there was a great deal of anticipation among marital researchers and clinicians regarding [this] book....It is full of wisdom, scholarly knowledge, clinical sensitivity and a pervasive respect for both marriage and the marital therapy enterprise....Stuart is both a master clinician and a scholar, and one cannot help but be enriched by the knowledge and experience contained in this volume."--The American Journal of Family Therapy
Journal of Psychology and Theology

"Graduate students as well as practicing professionals will find this book extremely helpful in its careful discussion of theory and technique."--Journal of Psychology and Theology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572309852
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Series: Guilford Family Therapy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 442
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard B. Stuart, DSW, ABPP, is Program Director, Respecialization in Clinical Psychology, The Fielding Graduate Institute, and Clinical Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington. He has more than 40 years of teaching and research experience in psychology, psychiatry, family medicine, and social work.
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Table of Contents

1. Why Treat Troubled Marriages?
2. Values and Philosophy in Selecting Marital Therapy Goals and Methods
3. Techniques of Therapy Based on Social Learning Theory
4. Assessing Troubled Marriages
5. Structuring the Therapeutic Process
6. Caring Days: A Technique for Building Commitment to Faltering Marriages
7. Communication Change
8. Structuring Behavior Exchanges
9. Allocating the Authority to Make Decisions
10. Conflict Containment
11. Sex Therapy
Freida M. Stuart and D. Corydon Hammond
12. Maintaining Results
Author Index
Subject Index
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