Systemic Couple Therapy as a Tool to Approach Depressive Disorders

  • Carmen Campo
Part of the European Family Therapy Association Series book series (EFTAS)


Depressive disorders, especially those considered resistant, require an approach that optimizes every resource.

When a patient is in a relationship, their partner is usually the most significant figure. Involving them in the therapeutic process makes it possible to visualize dysfunctional interactive patterns and perform a relational diagnosis which extends and enhances the conventional diagnosis (DSM-IV/DSM-V). It also makes it easier to plan more tailored therapeutic interventions.

This chapter presents a specific diagnostic and intervention procedure in couple therapy, whose aim is to clarify unresolved conflicts that are masked behind symptoms, give meaning to pathological behaviour and enable the design of relevant strategies to promote change. Another priority objective is to encourage the construction of a therapeutic alliance, an essential component if one is to obtain the collaboration of the patient and their spouse as the therapeutic process progresses.

In this proposal, couple therapy is used as an indispensable instrument for resolving conflicts through functional mechanisms that do not favour the maintenance of symptomatic behaviour.


Depressive disorders Relational diagnosis Disfunctional interactive patterns Couple therapy Therapeutic alliance 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Campo
    • 1
  1. 1.Escuela de Terapia Familiar del Hospital de Sant PauBarcelonaSpain

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