The evaluation of couples therapy. Comparing research traditions

Davide Margola*, Vittorio Cigoli, Filippo Aschieri

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


The aim of this work is to outline a taxonomy for couples therapy research. The proposed scheme is based on four main empirical traditions, focusing on efficacy-inefficacy (outcome research), early termination (dropout research), guidelines (empirically supported treatments research), and effectiveness (process research). Respectively, the questions arising from each tradition are: Does couples therapy work? What is associated with premature termination? For whom and which disorders does it work? More generally, how does couples therapy work? In this presentation, each of the four traditions is summarized in terms of its essential aims and major empirical evidence to date, as well as the limits and challenges for future research. In addition, potential overlaps of the proposed taxonomy with some other empirically- and historically-based classifications will be presented. A final overview of promising emerging approaches in evaluating couples therapy will be given, focusing on the study of micro-processes. In this respect, we emphasize the analysis of proximal effects, change events, mediators of change or common factors and, more recently, empirically supported therapy relationships. This overview offers a framework for our approach to evaluating couples' relationships in the clinical context, an approach on which we will elaborate in a forthcoming article.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] The evaluation of couples therapy. Comparing research traditions
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)21-56
Numero di pagine36
RivistaRicerca in Psicoterapia
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2006


  • Couples therapy
  • Dropout research
  • Process research
  • Outcome research
  • Empirically supported treatments research


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