Premarital and Marital Counseling: Realistic Intervention Strategies

  • Ray Bissonette
  • James A. MacKenzie


In this chapter in the first edition of Family Medicine: Principles and Practice,we described marriage in rather irreverent terms. Its improbability was compared with the aerodynamics of the bumblebee, its difficulty characterized as monumental at best, and its overall appearance was dubbed “bizarre.” In arriving at these unflattering conclusions we considered a variety of realities: uniqueness of this institution among creatures; the relative lack of preparation abetted and exacerbated by unrealistic expectations; and a remarkable legal and social context requiring little more than proof of age for admission to a relationship defined Recognizing Susan’s greater vulnerability and moderate depression, Dr. Anthony suggested that Susan meet with him alone 3 or 4 times at two-week intervals. Before leaving, Dr. Anthony asked the Blanchards to take some time alone and write two lists, one of rank ordered needs (“What I need from my spouse to make me happy”) and one of rank ordered complaints (“What I would change in my spouse if I could control his/her behavior”). Dr. Anthony asked them to bring the lists with them to their next conjoint session in two weeks.


Family Physician Target Behavior Divorce Rate Physical Attractiveness Marital Relationship 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ray Bissonette
  • James A. MacKenzie

There are no affiliations available

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