Although there are a number of highly efficacious in-person treatments designed to ameliorate relationship distress, only a small proportion of distressed couples seek out in-person treatment.

Recently developed internet-based interventions based on these in-person treatments are a promising way to circumvent common barriers to in-person treatment and give more distressed couples access to these efficacious interventions.

The overarching aims of this review are to provide couple and family therapists with a broad overview of the available internet-based interventions and provide suggestions about how these interventions might be utilized before, during, or after in-person treatment. The majority of the review centres on internet-based interventions for distressed couples and covers four distinct types of resources:

  • Relationship advice websites
  • Assessment/feedback interventions
  • Enrichment interventions for satisfied couples and
  • Interventions targeting at risk or distressed couples.

Included is a case study of one couple’s journey through a newly developed intervention targeting at-risk couples, OurRelationship.com. Internet-based interventions targeting individual psychopathology (e.g. anxiety and depression) are also reviewed. These interventions would be particularly useful as an adjunctive resource for in-person couple or family therapy when referrals for a concurrent in-person individual therapist are not feasible (because of time, financial, or geographic constraints). The article closes with three appendices: two appendices with information on currently available internet-based interventions; and one appendix with recommendations on how to incorporate these resources into in-person therapy.

Reference: Cicila, L. N., Georgia, E. J. and Doss, B. D. (2014), Incorporating Internet-based Interventions into Couple Therapy: Available Resources and Recommended Uses. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, Vol 35: pp 414–430.

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