Research of the effectiveness of couples counseling has demonstrated clear benefits (e.g.; Lebow et al. (Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(1):145–168, 2012)). However, relatively few couples initiate counseling and seek help. This exploratory study employed a qualitative multiple case study approach to heterosexual couples (N = 7) that were currently in the process of seeking conjoint therapy to identify intra and interpersonal factors that influence relational help-seeking. Participants reported that female partners were the first to perceive a problem and suggest seeking professional help. In turn, male partners reported feeling a sense of failure and fear of judgment when considering couples counseling. Patterns of blame, withdrawal, and aggression contributed to increased distress, which eventually led these couples to counseling, some with mixed-agendas for services.
Contemporary Family Therapy – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 5, 2017
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