Last updated on 29th September 2015
Just about to start the second day of this two day workshop led by Professor Don Baucom on "Couple-Based Interventions for Anxiety Disorders". We're here at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine in London's East End. St Katharine's aims to provide a "sense of an oasis in the city" and I think it succeeds really well. I've been to workshops here before and I would thoroughly recommend it. But how was yesterday's first day of this workshop?
I'm here because of having been to a one day pre-conference workshop on couple therapy with Don back at the Guildford BABCP Summer Conference in 2011. It was excellent and it's interesting to re-visit the intentions I made after that fine Guildford conference. They included: New information on couple therapy: I want to chew more at this. What are the indications I want to look out for that couple therapy could usefully be considered? Well clearly there are the times when a couple contacts me directly wanting to work on their relationship. It's worth noting as well the encouraging results reported in the paper on "The PREP program for individuals and couples: can interventions with one spouse help the relationship?" suggesting that " ... therapists can effectively work with only one partner "in the room" if they have a couples perspective as they conduct ... therapy" (note though that this study is looking at prevention of potential future problems, not treatment of current difficulties). Obviously there is the NICE guideline recommendation that "behavioural couples therapy should be considered for people who have a regular partner and where the relationship may contribute to the development or maintenance of depression, or where involving the partner is considered to be of potential therapeutic benefit." I note that their suggestion "an adequate course of therapy should be 15 to 20 sessions over 5 to 6 months" is pretty time-consuming and expensive. I want to read more and clarify in my own mind when it makes sense to offer a couple based intervention for other disorders like OCD, agoraphobia, GAD, addictions and so on. I have access to a wealth of couple therapy books (some ordered because of suggestions from the conference). There is a movement to try to integrate the well-supported couple interventions. I intend to consider what this might best involve, with "Integrative couple therapy" as a fall-back preference.
Well I have followed up my interest in "Integrative behavioural couple therapy", going to a workshop with Andy Christensen earlier this year and using the approach more thoroughly ever since.
More to follow ...