Behavioral versus insight-oriented marital therapy: effects on individual and interspousal functioning. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study compared the effects of behavioral marital therapy (BMT) and insight-oriented marital therapy (IOMT) on both interspousal and intrapersonal functioning in a controlled outcome study. A total of 79 couples seeking treatment for relationship distress were randomly assigned to BMT, IOMT, or a treatment-on-demand (TOD) waiting-list control group. Results indicated the significance in individual and relationship functioning. Both treatment approaches produced significant effects from intake to termination that were substantially maintained at the 6-month follow-up. Behavioral and insight-oriented therapies resulted in significant improvements in self-reports of global marital accord and, to a lesser extent, in the reduction of overall psychological distress and in the enhancement of self-concept, with no significant differences between treatment conditions. The magnitude of these effects in comparison with those reported in previous marital outcome studies and in more general psychotherapy research is discussed, and possible mechanisms for the equivalence of these technically divergent treatment approaches are explored.

published proceedings

  • J Consult Clin Psychol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Snyder, D. K., & Wills, R. M.

citation count

  • 152

complete list of authors

  • Snyder, DK||Wills, RM

publication date

  • February 1989