Prevention of Relational Incompetence: Avoiding Negative Experiences

  • Luciano L’Abate
  • Mario Cusinato
  • Eleonora Maino
  • Walter Colesso
  • Claudia Scilletta


Preventive and therapeutic interventions need to be differentiated according to the level and type of functionality. For instance, even though most types of functionality may not need improvement, they could benefit from low-cost interventions, such as dancing, exercise, massage, and volunteering, as discussed in Chap. 19. In preventive and therapeutic approaches, cluster C personality disorders or internalizations need to be differentiated from cluster B externalizing disorders. The former, with their proclivity to delay and introspect, can be helped by face-to-face talk-based psychotherapy as well as by additional homework assignments, using various types of writing or nonverbal tasks (Kazantzis & L’Abate, 2007). The latter can be helped to deal with their impulsivity and inadequate inability to introspect using written homework assignments, once they decompensate in a crisis or when they are in danger of going to jail, or if they are already in jail. Interactive practice exercises developed to increase reflection, introspection, and greater controls could decrease discharge and impulsivity (L’Abate, 2010). Disorders in cluster A of axis II and disorders of axis I can be helped through various therapeutic approaches, including impersonal instruments and a whole relatively new technology in psychology, psychiatry, and neurology (L’Abate & Kaiser, in press), such as computers, medication, socioeducational training skills, and group therapies, as discussed further in Chap. 21.


Personality Disorder Homework Assignment Beck Anxiety Inventory Mental Health Practice Skill Training Program 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anthony, J. L., Lonigan, C. J., & Hecht, S. A. (1999). Dimensionality of posttraumatic stress disorder concerns in children exposed to disaster: Results from confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108, 326–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chorpita, B. F., Albano, A. M., & Barlow, D. H. (1998). The structure of negative emotions in a clinical sample of children and adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 74–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coyne, J. C., Thompson, R., & Palmer, S. C. (2003). Marital characteristic quality, coping with conflict, marital complaints, and affection in couples with a depressed wife. Journal of Family Psychology, 16, 26–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eckhardt, C., Barbour, K., & Davison, G. (1998). Articulated thoughts of maritally violent and nonviolent men during anger arousal. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(2), 259–269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eckhardt, C. I., & Deffenbacher, J. L. (1995). Diagnosis of anger disorders. In H. Kassinove (Ed.), Anger disorders: Definition, diagnosis, and treatment (pp. 27–47). Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  6. Esterling, B. A., L’Abate, L., Murray, E., & Pennebaker, J. M. (1999). Empirical foundations for writing in prevention and psychotherapy: Mental and physical outcomes. Clinical Psychology Review, 19, 79–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Feindler, E. L. (1995). Ideal treatment package for children and adolescents with anger disorders. In H. Kassinove (Ed.), Anger disorders: Definition, diagnosis, and treatment (pp. 173–195). Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  8. Ferrari, J. R., Johnson, J. L., & McCown, W. G. (1995). Procrastination and task avoidance: Theory, research, and treatment. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  9. Hartlage, S., Arduino, K., & Alloy, L. B. (1998). Depressive personality characteristics: State dependent Concomitants of depressive disorder and traits independent of current depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 349–354.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Henley, A. R. (1987). Phobias: The crippling fears. New York: Avon Books.Google Scholar
  11. Hurtug, J., Audy, J. R., & Cohen, Y. A. (1998). The anatomy of loneliness. New York: International University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kazantzis, N., & L’Abate, L. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of homework assignments in psycho-therapy: Theory, research, and prevention. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. King, D. W., Leskin, G. A., King, L. A., & Weathers, F. W. (1998). Confirmatory factor analysis of the clinician-administered PTSD scale: Evidence for the dimentionality of posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Assessment, 10, 90–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kosson, D. S., Steuerwald, B. L., Forth, A. E., & Kirkhart, K. J. (1997). A new method for assessing the interpersonal behavior of psychopathic individuals: Preliminary validation studies. Psychological Assessment, 9, 89–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. L’Abate, L. (1977). Intimacy is sharing hurt feelings: A reply to David Mace. Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling, 3, 13–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. L’Abate, L. (1986). Systematic family therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  17. L’Abate, L. (1990). Building family competence: Primary and secondary prevention strategies. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. L’Abate, L. (1992a). Excessive spending. In L. L’Abate, J. E. Farrar, & D. A. Serritella (Eds.), Handbook of differential treatments for addictions (pp. 253–270). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  19. L’Abate, L. (1992b). Programmed writing: A self-administered approach with individuals, couples, and families. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  20. L’Abate, L. (1997a). Distance writing and computer-assisted training. In R. S. Sauber (Ed.), Managed mental health care: Major diagnostic and treatment approaches (pp. 133–163). Bristol, PA: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  21. L’Abate, L. (1997b). The self in the family: Toward a classification of personality, criminality, and psychopathology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  22. L’Abate, L. (Ed.). (2001). Distance writing and computer-assisted interventions in psychiatry and mental health. Westport, CT: Ablex.Google Scholar
  23. L’Abate, L. (2002). Beyond psychotherapy: Programmed writing and structured computer-assisted interventions. Westport, CT: Ablex.Google Scholar
  24. L’Abate, L. (Ed.). (2004b). Using workbooks in mental health: Resources in prevention, psycho-therapy, and rehabilitation for clinicians and researchers. Binghamton, NY: Haworth.Google Scholar
  25. L’Abate, L. (Ed.). (2007). Low-cost approaches to promote physical and mental health. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. L’Abate, L. (2008a). A hierarchical framework for relational competence theory. Psychologia Rozwojowa, 13, 9–19.Google Scholar
  27. L’Abate, L. (2008b). Appendix. A proposed curriculum for a diploma or graduate degree in Structured Online Mental Health Interventions. In L. L’Abate (Ed.), Toward a science of clinical psychology: Laboratory evaluations and interventions (pp. 385–392). New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. L’Abate, L. (2009a). A theory-derived structured interview for intimate relationships. The Family Psychologist, 25, 12–14.Google Scholar
  29. L’Abate, L. (2009b). Hurt feelings: The last taboo for researchers and clinicians? In A. L. Vangelisti (Ed.), Handbook of hurt feelings in close relationships. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. L’Abate, L. (2009c). Sourcebook of interactive exercises in mental health. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  31. Lahey, B. B., Frick, P. J., Loeber, R., Tannenbaum, D. A., et al. (1990). Oppositional conduct disorder: A meta-analysis review. Unpublished manuscript, University of Georgia, Athens.Google Scholar
  32. Levinson, H. N. (1986). Phobia free. New York: Evans.Google Scholar
  33. Lynam, D. R. (1997). Pursuing the psychopath: Capturing the fledging psychopath in a nomological net. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 425–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Merrell, K. W., & Gimpel, G. A. (1997). Social skills of children and adolescents: Conceptualization, assessment, treatment. Mahawah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  35. Newcomer, P. L., Barenbaum, E. M., & Bryant, B. R. (1994). Depression and Anxiety in Youth Scale. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  36. Peplau, I. A., & Perlman, D. (Eds.). (1982). Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research, and therapy. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  37. Satcher, D. (1999). Surgeon General of the United States: Mental Health Report. Washington, DC: Office of Public Health and Science.Google Scholar
  38. Spielberger, C. D., Reheiser, E. R., & Sydeman, S. J. (1995). Measuring the experience, expression, and control of anger. In H. Kassinove (Ed.), Anger disorders: Definition, diagnosis, and treatment (pp. 49–67). Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  39. Sternberg, R. J., & Kolligian, J., Jr. (Eds.). (1990). Competence considered. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Taylor, S., Kuch, K., Koch, W. J., Crockett, D. J., & Passey, G. (1998). The structure of posttraumatic stress concerns. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 154–160.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Vangelisti, A., & Beck, G. (2007). Intimacy and fear of intimacy. In L. L’Abate (Ed.), Handbook of low-cost interventions to promote physical and mental health: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 395–414). New York: Springer Science.Google Scholar
  42. Weston, H. E., Boxer, P., & Heatherington, L. (1998). Children’s attributions about family arguments: Implications for family therapy. Family Process, 17, 35–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano L’Abate
    • 1
  • Mario Cusinato
    • 2
  • Eleonora Maino
    • 3
  • Walter Colesso
    • 2
  • Claudia Scilletta
    • 4
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.University of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Scientific Institute Eugenio MedeaBosisio PariniItaly
  4. 4.MilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations