Solidifying Change and Maintaining Progress
As discussed in Chapter 9, a signifi cant body of research supports the effectiveness of couple therapy (Shadish & Baldwin, 2002, 2009). Nevertheless, many couples struggle to maintain the gains that they make while in treatment (Carlson & Ellis, 2004), and some experience relapse into old emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal habits. Therapists can work with couples, particularly near the end of treatment, to solidify changes, maintain their progress, and avoid relapse. The purpose of this chapter is to outline some steps therapists can take to help clients maintain and build upon their success and growth in therapy. The chapter will include interventions and strategies to help therapists and clients build on couples’ strengths and successes experienced during treatment. It will also include suggestions for preventing relapse, handling setbacks, and promoting continued growth beyond therapy.