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J Marital Fam Ther. 2007 Jul;33(3):344-63.

What clients of couple therapy model developers and their former students say about change, part II: model-independent common factors and an integrative framework.

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Martial and Family Therapy Program, Alliant International University-Sacramento Campus, Sacremento, California 95825, USA.


Proponents of the common factors movement in marriage and family therapy (MFT) suggest that, rather than specific models of therapy, elements common across models of therapy and common to the process of therapy itself are responsible for therapeutic change. This article-the second of two companion articles-reports on a study designed to further investigate common factors in couple therapy. We used grounded theory techniques to analyze data from interviews with MFT model developers Dr. Susan M. Johnson, Dr. Frank M. Dattilio, Dr. Richard C. Schwartz, former students of Dr. Johnson and Dr. Schwartz, and each of their clients who had been successful in couple therapy. This article reports model-independent variables, that is, general aspects of therapy that are not directly related to the therapist's model. Model-independent categories include client variables, therapist variables, the therapeutic alliance, therapeutic process, and expectancy and motivational factors, each with several subcategories. We also present a conceptual framework that outlines how model-dependent and model-independent common factors may interact to produce change. We discuss our findings and proposed framework in relation to the current common factors literature in psychology and MFT. We also discuss clinical, training, and research implications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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