Volume 31, Issue 1 (3-2024)                   RJMS 2024, 31(1): 1-14 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: A-10-7492-2
Ethics code: IR.IAU.SHK.REC.1401.070
Clinical trials code: A-10-7492-2

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Dehghani F, Ghazanfari A, Sharifi T. Comparing the Effectiveness of Emotion-Focused Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on the Forgiveness of Women Affected by Marital Infidelity. RJMS 2024; 31 (1) :1-14
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-8350-en.html
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran , aghazan5@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (375 Views)

Background & Aims: Intimate communication provides opportunities for personal and interpersonal growth between two people. However, one of the challenges that many couples face is cheating in the relationship, and it seems that the biggest act of cheating between couples is dealing with infidelity (1). The complexity of intimate communication and the effects of infidelity on it have made it necessary for researchers and family therapists to pay attention to these effects from different perspectives (2). In fact, marital infidelity damages the marital relationship more than any other problem and factor and puts the couple in a very difficult situation, for this reason, practical and practical ways to deal with this problem have always been mentioned in family and marriage counseling texts. is (3). Forgiveness is one of the most important factors and variables when working with couples who experience marital infidelity, because on the one hand it provides the conditions for forgiveness and on the other hand it increases marital satisfaction (11). Forgiveness is one of the concepts that plays a positive role in creating mental health, especially in couples (3). The process of forgiveness includes resentment, hatred, healing and forgiveness, and finally reconciliation and returning to the other side (11).
Emotion-focused couple therapy is considered as a short-term structured approach in couple therapy, which is based on clear concepts of marital distress and adult love (26). Emotion- focused therapy emphasizes the participation of emotions in the permanent patterns of incompatibility in troubled couples. The effort of this approach is to reveal the vulnerable emotions in each of the couples and facilitate the ability of the couple to create these emotions in safe and loving ways (27). On the other hand, cognitive-behavioral therapy is another intervention that has been used for women who have experiences of infidelity and other marital problems and conflicts (35). This type of intervention is considered highly capable for working with couples due to its flexibility and the possibility of modifying the thought-emotion-behavior cycle, and it has been used especially in the treatment of marital conflicts, including marital infidelity (36). The present study was conducted with the aim of comparing the effectiveness of emotion-focused therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy on the forgiveness of women affected by marital infidelity.
Methods: The research was conducted using a semi-experimental method with a pre-test, post-test and follow-up design and a control group, during which the members of the two experimental groups and the control group completed the forgiveness questionnaire in three stages: pre-test, post-test and follow-up. The statistical population of the research was all women who referred to one of the counseling centers in Isfahan city in the first 3 months of 2022 due to marital infidelity on the part of their husbands. Thus, by using available sampling and conducting a short clinical interview, the researcher selected 54 people non-randomly and then randomly placed them in three groups of 18 people. Expression measurement and data collection in the present study included forgiveness questionnaire (Pellari et al., 2009) and clinical interview. The interventions provided to the members of the experimental groups included emotion-focused therapy (26, 27) during 8 sessions of 90 minutes to the experimental group (1) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (43) during 8 sessions of 90 minutes to the experimental group (2). The obtained data were analyzed using analysis of variance with repeated measures.
Results: The results of intersubject effects showed that the average scores of forgiveness and generosity and anger-avoidance components were significantly different from each other at different measurement times (pre-test, post-test and follow-up) (P<0.01). The results of time also showed that the average scores of total forgiveness and generosity and anger-avoidance components increased significantly in the post-test and follow-up stages compared to the pre-test stage (P<0.01); But there is no significant difference between the average scores of the post-test and follow-up stage (P<0.01). Therefore, it was concluded that the average scores of forgiveness and its components increased in the post-test and follow-up phase compared to the pre-test phase and this increase was stable (P<0.01). The intergroup effects also showed that there was a significant difference between the mean scores of forgiveness and the components of generosity and anger-avoidance between the experimental and control groups (P<0.01). The effect coefficients were also equal to 0.572, 0.504 and 0.632, respectively, which shows that more than 57% of the changes in the total scores of forgiveness, 50% of the changes in the scores of the generosity component, and 63% of the changes in the scores of the anger-avoidance component are due to the presentation. There have been interventions. Also, the results of the pairwise comparison showed that the average scores of total forgiveness and components of generosity and anger-avoidance of the experimental groups were significantly higher than the control. In addition, it was found that the average scores of the total forgiveness and the components of generosity and anger-avoidance of the emotion- focused therapy group were significantly higher than the cognitive-behavioral therapy group (P<0.01) and it was concluded that although the two intervention methods increased the average scores of forgiveness and its components are effective, but the effectiveness of emotion- focused treatment was significantly higher (P<0.01).
Conclusion: Regarding the effectiveness of emotion- focused therapy on improving the average scores of forgiveness components including generosity and anger-avoidance, as it was said about the improvement of the average scores of forgiveness, it seems that before experiencing forgiveness, people experience various negative emotions. They suffer from stress, anxiety, depression and especially anger (20). While when they experience forgiveness through emotional therapy, most of these negative feelings change and give way to positive feelings (33, 37). In this way, emotion- focused therapy by focusing on different emotions provides the conditions of adaptation through generosity, which is a positive emotional and motivational state (54). Regarding anger-avoidance, it was also found that emotion- focused therapy helped the participants to recognize and cope with their negative emotions instead of reacting with anger or avoidance (32).
The results of the research show that both emotion- focused therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy were effective in improving the average total score and components of forgiveness, including generosity and anger-avoidance. It seems that the correction of emotional reactions and the improvement of difficult emotions, which were applied by emotion- focused therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy with two different mechanisms, led to the improvement of the state of generosity and anger-avoidance and finally forgiveness in the women of the experimental groups. It seems that emotional therapy in the first degree and cognitive-behavioral therapy in the second degree have the necessary capacity for a person to display more appropriate and effective emotional and behavioral reactions while correcting their emotional and emotional cycles. In addition, because in both treatment methods, women learned to deal with negative emotions caused by betrayal in a more effective way, such as anger, fear, despair and hatred, the ground for reducing such emotions was provided and the process of forgiveness was gradually formed. Of course, because emotion- focused therapy focuses directly on these emotions, it is more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy, which tries to improve emotions indirectly through the modification of cognitions.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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