Solution-Focused Therapy and Communication Skills Training: An integrated approach to couples therapy
This study uses a quasi-experimental design to determine if a solution-focused therapy (SFT) approach to couples counseling can be effective in improving an individual's marital satisfaction, and if a SFT approach to couples therapy can be improved upon by adding a one-time, psycho-educational intervention (i.e. Video #2 from the Fighting for your Marriage series: The Speaker/Listener Technique) that is normally not a part of the model.
Nine male-female couples participated in the project. One group (n = 8) completed treatment without viewing the communication skills video while the other group (n = 10) viewed the video at week two of treatment. Three questions were asked when analyzing data: 1. Do individuals who receive both solution-focused therapy and the speaker/listener tape end therapy reporting a greater increase in marital satisfaction than individuals who receive solution-focus therapy only? 2. Do individuals who receive both solution-focused therapy and the speaker/listener tape end therapy reporting a greater increase in satisfaction with their couple communication than those who receive solution-focused therapy only? 3. Do individuals who receive both solution-focused therapy and the speaker/listener tape end therapy reporting more satisfaction with the therapy process than those who receive solution-focused therapy only?
No significant difference in marital satisfaction or communication satisfaction was found between the two groups. However, individuals who viewed the video reported being significantly more satisfied with therapy. In addition, both groups reported significant improvement in their relationships which suggests that SFT promotes change. Evidence also suggests that males and females respond to SFT in significantly different ways.
The study was limited by its small sample size and one measure that was deemed unreliable. Findings suggest that integration of models and/or interventions is a delicate balance of art and design, and can be altered by such things as dose, philosophy, and placement of psychosocial treatments.