October 28, 2014
Behavioral couples therapy is an approach that draws from many different theoretical approaches: Adult developmental, Family systems, and Attachment theory. The goal of BCT is to increase understanding of the couple’s human behavior to make the therapy suitable for them. Drawing from a systemic approach BCT therapist not only view isolated events but take into account the environment as well. Using BCT the therapist attempt to affect change on different levels of the couple’s life, and use techniques that are adaptable to create more positive outcomes. The principles of BCT reflect closely to the principle of behaviorism, especially social learning. The assessment phase of BCT is critical during therapy. This is the time the therapist gathers information to determine which intervention route will be taken. This is not a process only completed by the therapist, but with an alliance with the couple. The therapist must play close attention to both conscious and unconscious keys.
The principles of BCT can be seen in techniques used in ICT, such as assessment, cognitive restructuring, Self-regulation coaching, and linking individual experiences and relational experiences. Cognitive restructuring involves challenging “automatic thoughts”. For example, a therapist may point out to a couple how their unconscious values could be affecting the relationship. Maybe one partner has unconsciously picked up habits from their parents. Assessment/de-escalation allows the therapist to get a background of the couple, with ICT there is no concrete move from assessment phases to intervention phase. The technique of coaching self-regulation can be a difficult task. For example, a client may be able to perform the self –regulation exercises in the office but it doesn’t transfer to the home setting. As the therapist I would encourage the couple to make these exercises as realistic as possible. During therapy if the couple begins to argue I would interject and remind them of their self-regulation objectives: 1. Stop and take a minute 2. To be open to what the other person is saying 3. And to go with flow. Linking personal and relational experiences is a key technique to ICT. It gives both individuals a mutual feeling about their relationship.
Strengths and Challenges of spouses of uncooperative alcoholics
One of the reading this week focus on spouses of uncooperative spouses, a