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The problem is my partner: Treating couples when one partner wants the other to change
  • Kieran T. Sullivan, Santa Clara University
  • Joanne Davila
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American Psychological Association
Partners commonly present to couple therapy expecting that the relationship will only improve if their partner changes. In other words, the partner is the problem. In this paper we review research on people's capacity for change, the process of behavior change, and personality change, especially the role of attachment theory. We then review techniques for working with couples based on empirically validated approaches to couple therapy and general change principles in therapy. Finally, we present a case study and recommendations for working with change-demanding couples, emphasizing the importance of focusing on emotional acceptance.
Copyright © 2014 American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Citation Information
Sullivan, Kieran T., and Joanne Davila. "The Problem Is My Partner: Treating Couples When One Partner Wants the Other to Change." Journal of Psychotherapy Integration 24.1 (2014): 1-12.