Integrative Behavioural Couple Therapy

Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT) is an approach to couple therapy that was developed by Andrew Christensen, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the late Neil S. Jacobson, who was a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Washington. This form of couple therapy first ‘integrates’ the twin goals of acceptance and change as positive outcomes for couples in therapy. Couples who succeed in therapy make changes to accommodate the needs of the other but they also show greater emotional acceptance of the other.

Secondly, IBCT integrates a variety of treatment strategies under a consistent behavioral theoretical framework. The acronym ‘DEEP’ is a beneficial concept for couple therapy as it reminds couples of a number of crucial principles: D – there are Differences in people which need recognising; E – a couple may have different Emotional responses; E – we may differ in our responses according to the Environment we are in, e.g. at work or at home and P – our life consists of many Patterns, or cycles of behaviour which may need modifying, e.g. cycles of repeated arguing. Our couple programmes at Therapy Retreats utilise the essential elements of IBCT but combine them with other approaches which dramatically cuts the time commitment from the usual IBCT pattern of over 20 sessions over a years duration.

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