Couple in therapy

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Couples therapies

One of only two types of therapies recommended for alcohol and/or drugs users by NICE, the UK’s official health intervention advisers. The most well known of these in the substance use sector focuses on a daily ritual in which the couple reaffirm and reinforce the user’s intention to that day stay drug-free/sober, together with techniques for promoting positive activities and improving communication. This collection of analyses on a promising approach starts with those most recently added or updated.

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DOCUMENT 2007 HTM file
Drug misuse in over 16s: psychosocial interventions

After examining the evidence for psychosocial therapies for problem drug use, the UK’s official health advisers recommend behavioural couples therapy and contingency management, argue against cognitive-behavioural therapies, and pose residential rehabilitation as a last resort – in some respects surprising and controversial recommendations.

REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence

This impressive assessment of what evaluation research means for alcohol dependence treatment in Britain is distinguished by reviews of the latest literature on the sub-topics it covers; in some cases these starkly reveal the inadequacies of the evidence base.

STUDY 2008 HTM file
Female drinkers also benefit from couples therapy

The latest in what family therapy experts have called an impressive series of US studies on behavioural couples therapy for substance misuse found that the benefits extended to dependent female drinkers.

REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Behavioral couples therapy for substance abusers: where do we go from here?

Problem drinkers and drug users in a persisting if distressed relationship with a partner do better when the focus is at least partly shifted from the patient to working with the couple to foster sobriety-encouraging interactions. Benefits for patients and the broader society can be remarkable.

REVIEW 2008 HTM file
Behavioral couples therapy (BCT) for alcohol and drug use disorders: a meta-analysis

For the minority of patients for whom it feasible, acceptable and safe, this meta-analytic review of behavioural couples therapy suggests it reduces substance use relative to other therapies, and the benefits are more likely to extend to the whole family.

REVIEW 2010 HTM file
Cost-effectiveness of family-based substance abuse treatment

For suitable patients, family-based therapies are among the most effective – but are they the most cost-effective? Not always finds this US-focused review, which argues that to compete in today's financially sensitive health care system, treatments must deliver the most clinical outcomes per unit of cost.

STUDY 2011 HTM file
Early treatment for women with alcohol addiction (EWA) reduces mortality: a randomized controlled trial with long-term register follow-up

Compared to usual treatment, over the next 27 years introduction of a comprehensively serviced female-only alcohol treatment unit in Sweden substantially extended the lives of its patients – a uniquely convincing demonstration that improving treatment can save lives.

REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Evidence-based psychotherapy relationships: Alliance in couple and family therapy

This meta-analytic review commissioned by the American Psychological Association revealed that relationships between therapists and couples or families are as important as in individual therapy. Practice recommendations will aid therapists working with couples and families, among the most effective ways to treat substance use problems.

STUDY 2009 HTM file
A randomized trial of individual and couple behavioral alcohol treatment for women

Alcohol dependent women experienced more lasting improvements when couples-based therapy embedded therapeutic processes in a lasting relationship with a willing husband or partner, extending an impressive research portfolio for the therapy.

STUDY 2004 PDF file 129Kb
Working with couples helps client and family

The latest in what experts have called an "impressive" series of studies systematically involving a patient's partner in their treatment for substance dependence found that the benefits extended to naltrexone treatment of opiate dependence.


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