Behavioral Couples Therapy for substance abuse: Rationale, methods, and findings
Behavioral couples therapy (BCT), a treatment approach for married or cohabiting drug abusers and their partners, attempts to reduce substance abuse directly and through restructuring the dysfunctional couple interactions that frequently help sustain it. In multiple studies with diverse populations, patients who engage in BCT have consistently reported greater reductions in substance use than have patients who receive only individual counseling. Couples receiving BCT also have reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction and more improvements in other areas of relationship and family functioning, including intimate partner violence and children’s psychosocial adjustment. This review describes the use of BCT in the treatment of substance abuse, discusses the intervention’s theoretical rationale, and summarizes the supporting literature.