Join the Conversation - Couple relationship education and counselling

Join the Conversation - Couple relationship education and counselling

30 July 2015
Relationship education and counselling

This webinar summarised research on the efficacy of couple therapy and relationship education, and discussed the implications for practice.

Please post your comments, and additional questions for our presenters, in the comments section below.

A recording of the webinar, with presentation slides and a transcript, will soon be made available on the CFCA website. Subscribe to CFCA news to receive a notification when these resources are available.

This webinar explored findings regarding the efficacy of couple therapy for treating general relationship distress, couple-based interventions for individual mental or physical health problems, and couple relationship education programs aimed at helping couples sustain a healthy committed relationship. Implications for professionals working with couples were discussed.

Further reading and resources

  • Working with couples: When 1 + 1 = 3
    Linden Green – Senior Manager, Clinical Services at Interrelate – discusses ways to bring the relationship into focus when working with couples in this article.


Great webinar, thank you I was wondering if there have been studies done on the effects of court mandated couple's therapy and its effects? Thank you
please notify me of new comments
margaret savic
Great webinar. Kim referred to US studies. Also see and Best CRE programs over here include: and and and and .
Thank you for an interesting and well organised presentation. Could you please comment on the Gottman Method?
Thanks Kim and Jemima. Can you point me to any resources on working with couples from CALD backgrounds, or where one parter is from a CALD background? Would be interested to know if and how education and counselling should be modified for these couples. Thanks for a fascinating session! Helen
Dear Margaretha, I am not aware of any research on mandated couple counselling. It is hard for me to imagine courts mandating counselling. They do mandate co-parenting education in some US states for separated couples with children. However, the parents attend individually and are not required to attend together. There also are mandated treatments for perpetrators of inter-partner violence by some courts that sometimes include a focus on couple related issues like effective nonviolent communication. However, I am not aware of any compelling data that these programs are effective.
Kim Halford
Jen, I am glad to have the chance to comment on John’s work. John Gottman has been a tremendously influential and productive researcher analysing the dynamic of couple interaction. He is truly exceptional in the creativity he has brought to understanding couple relationships. His approach to couple counselling is based on the vast amount of research he has done. That said, to the best of my knowledge there is only one paper published in a peer reviewed journal evaluating the method. It suggested that different components of the method work better for men than women. The standard usually required of therapies to be seen as evidence based is that they are shown to work in two independently conducted randomized trials. To the best of my knowledge the Gottman method does not meets that requirement.
Kim Halford
Thank you for raising this question Helen. There is little data on working with culturally diverse couples. My colleagues Dainka Hiew, Shuang Liu and I wrote a book chapter based on our research with intercultural couples that might be of interest:
Kim Halford

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