Volume 29, Issue 10 (12-2022)                   RJMS 2022, 29(10): 56-67 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: 10621602972029
Ethics code: 10621602972029
Clinical trials code: 10621602972029

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Assistant Professor, Counseling Department, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran , am.koraei@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1241 Views)
Background & Aims: Family formation begins with the union of a man and a woman, and one of the manifestations of a successful married life is the establishment of constructive interactions between husband and wife (1) Marriage plays an important role in the mental health of individuals, and if married life does not meet the needs of couples, not only will mental health not be realized, but it will also have negative consequences (2) Evidence shows that dissatisfaction in marital relationships and emotional breakdown between couples leads them to divorce or divorce (3). The goal of couples participating in family and couple therapies is to improve exchanges, increase trust, resolve conflicts and strengthen intimacy between themselves despite the persistence of problems (8). When the family is considered as a system, the processes of this system such as communication, exchange patterns and boundaries, hierarchy, adaptation and family functioning are better understood. Families and couples change their growth path in response to stressful situations, and Olson's complex circular pattern can well illustrate these changes. The complex cyclical pattern of family and marital systems expanded to fill the gap between research, theory, and practice in systems theory. This model focuses on communication systems and integrates three dimensions of the family. These three dimensions have been repeatedly discussed in family therapy perspectives and models. These three dimensions include cohesion, adaptability, and communication (9). Consistency addresses the issue of how systems strike a balance between separation and coexistence (5, 6). Adaptability refers to the degree to which family members or couples are able to change relationships, plans, and rules (5). Communication The third dimension is a complex circular pattern that is considered as a facilitator dimension. Using positive communication skills helps couples and families change their levels of attachment and adaptability so that they can meet their situational and developmental needs (11).
Different theories and perspectives have been proposed on marital and family conflicts and the intervention methods have been developed based on these approaches, one of which is the structural family therapy approach. The emphasis of family therapy is on the family as a whole, which consists of subsystems within the family (12). The effectiveness of this approach has been shown in research in solving couples' problems (14, 15). Another approach to couple therapy is Guttman couple therapy (16,17). The effectiveness of Guttman couple therapy has been shown in several studies, including in solving couples' problems (23-25).
Given the importance of Olson's Circumplex Model, it seems necessary to use approaches that can bring the couple's cohesion, adaptability, and level of communication to a desirable level, Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the compare the effectiveness of Structural Family Therapy and Gottman Couple Therapy on the cohesion, adaptability and communication of incompatible couples.
Methods: The population of this study includes of non-adjustment couples referring to Behbahan Education Counseling Clinic in the first half of 1398, sample of 45 couples from this community was selected by available method and randomly divided into two experimental groups and one control group. The quasi-experimental research design was pre-test, post-test and follow-up with a control group. First, pre-test was taken from all three groups and then the experimental groups were exposed to Structural Family Therapy and Gottman Couple Therapy for 8 sessions and 90 minutes each session (one session per week). At the end of the sessions, all three groups underwent post-test and 1.5 months later underwent follow-up test. Participants completed the family adaptability and cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES-III) and the Communication level subscale of the ENRICH Scale. Data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate covariance analysis.
 Results: The results showed that Structural Family Therapy and Gottman Couple Therapy significantly improved the cohesion, adaptability and communication of non-adjustment couples, Also, comparing the effectiveness of the two approaches shows a significant difference in favor of Gottman couple therapy group in the variables of cohesion and adaptability, and structural family therapy in the variable of communication. The results also showed that the effectiveness of these two approaches continued until the follow-up stage. The results were discussed in detail on the effectiveness of these approaches.
Conclusion: The results showed that both approaches improved the cohesion, adaptability and level of communication in the experimental group. The findings of this study were consistent with the results of Previous research (23،24،30). From the point of view of structural family therapy, changing the organization or structure of the family leads to better communication between family members and the construction of family boundaries, one of which is the pattern of marital communication, leads to healthy family functioning (13). Explaining the effect of structural family therapy on couple cohesion, adaptability and communication, we can say; Structural theory, by creating harmony between family members, especially the sub-system of marriage, creates a suitable structure and increases the closeness and cohesion of couples (13). This approach contributes to the health of couples and makes them feel better together by influencing family boundaries and making the boundaries within the family healthier. Structural family therapy helps couples to have a sense of individuality and a sense of belonging to the group by teaching them sufficient flexibility within clear boundaries and with proper functioning. In proper demarcation, the couple forms a stable system that helps them to show greater flexibility in making decisions and changing relationships and patterns.
On the other hand, the findings of this study were consistent with the results of Previous research that have proven the effectiveness of Guttman's approach in solving couples' problems. (23،24،30). Explaining the significance of the effectiveness of Guttman couple therapy on cohesion, adaptability and couple’s communication, it can be said that according to Guttman, expressing interest, admiration and respect helps couples to get closer to each other and to Perform joint activities together on a daily basis. In a lasting marriage, the couple usually compromises and gently resolves their issues in favor of the parties (31). Also, teaching couples common sense leads them to establish a relationship with each other and to support their spouse's rules and suggestions. The effect of Guttman couple therapy on couple’s communication can also be said; Communication is a vital and important dimension in a couple's functioning, training in positive communication skills helps couples to meet their developmental needs. One of the things that hurts a couple's positive relationship is conflict. Conflict is inevitable in marital relationships. Guttman's theory teaches how to resolve conflicts and targets negative emotions during conflicts. Also, the results of comparing the two approaches showed that Guttman couple therapy has a greater effect on couples' cohesion and adaptability than structural family therapy. This difference in effectiveness can be related to the nature of Guttman couple therapy approach. On the other hand, the results showed that structural family therapy has a greater effect on couples' communication than Guttman couple therapy, which is also due to the structural emphasis on concepts such as family structure, interactions between members and family reconstruction (12). The statistical population, available sampling, and the design of the present study present limitations on the generalizations and interpretations that need to be considered. According to the results, it seems that structural family therapy and Guttman couple therapy can help to improve the psychological and marital characteristics of couples seeking divorce.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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