An Integrative Approach to Treating Infidelity Academic Article uri icon


  • Intimate emotional and sexual relationships outside of marriage or a committed relationship occur with high frequency in both community and, particularly, clinical populations. Infidelity is the most frequently cited cause of divorce and is described by couple therapists as among the most difficult problems to treat. In this article, the authors describe a three-stage model for helping couples move past an affair, including (a) dealing with the initial impact, (b) exploring contributing factors and finding meaning, and (c) reaching an informed decision about how to move onwhether together or apart. This intervention draws on the theoretical and empirical literature regarding traumatic response as well as interpersonal forgiveness and incorporates empirically supported interventions from both cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented approaches to treating couple distress. Preliminary empirical findings support the efficacy of this affair-specific intervention.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 12.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Snyder, D., Baucom, D., & Gordon, K.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Snyder, Douglas||Baucom, Donald||Gordon, Kristina

publication date

  • January 2008