Treating emotion dysregulation in a couples context: A pilot study of a couples skills group intervention

  • Kirby J
  • Baucom D
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Abstract

This article reports the development of a couple-based intervention in which at least one partner had experienced chronic difficulties in emotion regulation, operationalized as having participated in a yearlong dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training group. Integrating dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral couple therapy, this group intervention taught couples emotion regulation, communication, and problem-solving skills, and led them through an exploration of how strong feelings affect and are affected by their relationship. The effects of treatment were evaluated in terms of relationship satisfaction and individual well-being. Sizeable treatment effects were found in several domains, including a reduction in DBT graduates' depressive symptoms and emotion dysregulation, and an increase in their partners' relationship satisfaction and confidence in their graduate spouses' ability to regulate emotions.

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Authors

  • Jennifer S. Kirby

  • Donald H. Baucom

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