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J Clin Psychol. 2012 May;68(5):526-35. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21857. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Couple therapy for depression.

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University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.


Relationship problems and depression often influence one another in a bidirectional, recursive fashion. Results from several clinical trials have demonstrated that couple therapy is effective in improving depression and reducing relationship problems. In this article, we describe an approach to working with depression in partnered individuals who are also unhappy in their relationship. This cognitive-behavior approach strives to (a) eliminate major stressors and reestablish positive activities in the relationship, (b) improve communication and problem solving in the relationship, and (c) solidify gains made in therapy and prevent relapse. The typical course of therapy is described and demonstrated in a case illustration. Couple therapy is a promising treatment for depressed individuals in distressed relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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