Volume 27, Issue 4 (6-2020)                   RJMS 2020, 27(4): 3-14 | Back to browse issues page

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Nazarpour D, Heydarnia A, Pouryahya S M, Davarniya R. The effect of group couple therapy based on the imago relationship therapy on improving marital relationship quality among couples. RJMS 2020; 27 (4) :3-14
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-5518-en.html
, rezadavarniya@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (2718 Views)
Background: Marriage is one of the most important needs which affects all the life aspects of human beings for almost half a century. The Marriage background is as old as history and since human beings put their feet on the earth, love and affection, marriage and marital conflict have existed, as well. In fact, mental health of humans is greatly dependent on a good and successful marriage. The evolution and development of the human’s personality relies on the quality of his/her relationships, and intimate relationships, in fact, act like therapeutic relationships which can be supportive platforms and human’s shelter against difficulties of life. Studying the relationships of couples helps to clarify the structural frameworks in which the couple relationships form. The imago relationship approach is a theory and therapeutic approach on dating, marriage and the process of marital conflicts formation. The main hypothesis of the imago relationship approach is the fact that relationship is our essence and nature; For we always are in relation to others. We are born in relationship, are harmed in relationship, and are healed in relationship. The imago relationship approach in marital relationship is a tool for attaining a conscious relationship which facilitates the conscious and mutual treatment of the childhood traumas between couples. Based on a theoretical principle, it is believed that we choose our couples according to an unconscious image of an individual who can complete us which is called imago or childhood ideal. The unconscious selection of spouse creates an opportunity to, by increasing empathy, mutual understanding, and relationship with the adult romantic partner, soothe and cure the relationship that we have lost in childhood. In the imago relationship approach, the goal is to align the conscious mind of the individual with his/her unconscious mind, and this method helps individuals to develop and enhance conscious, committed and intimate relationships. The present study was conducted by the aim of investigating the effect of group couple therapy based on imago relationship therapy on improving marital relationship quality.
Methods: The present research was a semi-experimental study which used a pretest-posttest with control group design. The statistical population of the present study included all the couples referring to the Rastin counseling and psychological services center in Gorgan city, Iran, in the second half of 2017. The sample of the present study included 16 couples who were selected by available sampling method and were assigned into two experiment and control groups (8 couples per group) by ransom assignment method. The inclusion criteria of the research included: having at least two years history of marital life, having at an education level of at least middle school, not being a divorce applicant, and receiving no individual counseling services outside the therapy sessions. The exclusion criteria of the research included: using psychiatric and psychotropic drugs, history of hospitalization in psychiatric hospitals, and using any type of sedative drugs, alcohol, and norcotics. The data gathering tool was Golombok Rust Inventory of Marital State. The group couple therapy based on imago relationship therapy was conducted in eight 120-minute sessions for the couples of the experiment group while the control group received no intervention. The data were analyzed by univariate analysis of covariance in SPSSv24.
Results: The mean and standard deviation of age was 43.44 ± 6.74 for the experiment group and 41.38 ± 5.37 for the control group. The mean and standard deviation of marriage deviation was 22 ± 7.89 for the experiment group and 20.25 ± 7.21 for the control group. Investigating the information on the education level of the subjects indicated that in the experiment group, four subjects had middle school degree that included 25% of the subjects of the experiment group. 7 subjects had diploma that by composing 43.8% of the subjects, included the highest number of subjects in this group, and finally, 5 subjects had undergraduate education including 31.2% of the subjects in the experiment group. In the control group, subjects with diploma, with 9 individuals, had the greatest frequency of subjects in the control group. After that, we had 4 subjects with undergraduate degrees and 3 subjects with middle school degree. According to the results of the univariate analysis of covariance, the significance of F value for quality of marital relationships (F = 72.65 and p < 0.01) suggests that the effect of couple therapy based on imago relationship therapy is significant, that is, after calculating the pretest’s effect, the difference created in scores of both groups in the level of quality of marital relationships is significant. Moreover, according to the mean of scores of quality of marital relationships in the experiment group in pretest (41.81) and posttest (33), it is determined that the mean scores of quality of marital relationships in the couples of the experiment group have reduced in the posttest stage, and since in the quality of marital relationships questionnaire, the lower the obtained score is, the higher the quality of marital relationships will be, therefore, this indicates the effect of the therapeutic approach on improving the quality of marital relationships. The chi eta shows that 71% of the variance is caused by the effect of couple therapy based on imago relationship therapy.
Conclusion: IRT is a process in which the couples are given information and awareness, and most importantly, they are offered trainings regarding the unconscious aspects of their relationship and a fundamental examination of the origin of their conflicts, and which helps individuals intervene on their problems instead of trying to solve them on the surface. Succeeding in this issue leads to improvement, growth, and affective security towards each other. According to the results of present research, counselors and family therapists are recommended to use this therapeutic model for solving marital conflicts and improving relationships in families. 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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