Distinctiveness of behavioral versus insight-oriented marital therapy: an empirical analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • The present study determined whether behavioral and insight-oriented marital therapy could be rendered in a distinct and uncontaminated fashion in manual-guided outcome research in which therapists were crossed with treatment condition. Results indicated that therapist interventions could be reliably coded into techniques specific to the respective approaches and into additional interventions not specific to either treatment modality. When provided with explicit treatment manuals and ongoing case supervision, therapists were able to administer both treatment conditions faithfully without contamination from techniques that were inconsistent with that theoretical approach. Behavioral marital therapy (BMT) was shown to be highly structured, with 93% of therapist interventions reflecting techniques specific to that approach. In contrast, insight-oriented marital therapy (IOMT) comprised a large percentage of nonspecific interventions (62%) compatible with but not unique to a psychodynamic orientation. Implications for the two treatment approaches and for future marital therapy outcome research are discussed. 1987 American Psychological Association.

published proceedings

  • J Consult Clin Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Wills, R. M., Faitler, S. L., & Snyder, D. K.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Wills, RM||Faitler, SL||Snyder, DK

publication date

  • October 1987