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J Marital Fam Ther. 2004 Apr;30(2):213-31.

An integrative intervention for promoting recovery from extramarital affairs.

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  • 1310B Austin Peay Building, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.


The discovery or disclosure of an extramarital affair can have a devastating impact on partners, both individually and on the relationships. Research suggests that affairs occur relatively frequently in relationships and are a common presenting problem in couple therapy. However, despite their prevalence, there is little empirical treatment research in this area, and most therapists describe this problem as one of the more difficult to treat. In this study, we used a replicated case-study design to explore the efficacy of an integrative treatment designed to help couples recover from an affair. Six couples entered and completed treatment. The majority of these couples were less emotionally or maritally distressed at the end of treatment, and the injured partners reported greater forgiveness regarding the affair. Details of the intervention, suggested adaptations of the treatment, and areas for future research are discussed.

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