Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Process Research in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Myrna L. FriedlanderEmail author
  • Hannah Muetzelfeld
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_133

Name of Entry

Process Research


Change mechanisms; Change process research


Over the past 20 years since researchers definitively demonstrated the efficacy of various approaches to couple and family therapy (CFT), attention has turned to process research. That is, aside from studying which therapeutic approaches “work” best with different kinds of couples and families, researchers are particularly interested in studying specific factors that contribute to positive change.

Generally speaking, the term process research refers to investigations of therapists’ and clients’ behaviors and perceptions during therapy. The bulk of process studies in couple and family therapy, like those in individual therapy, focus on what takes place in therapy sessions themselves, although some studies of behaviors occurring between sessions are also considered to be process research.

In large part, therapist behavior has been studied in terms of techniques, such as confrontation and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University at Albany/State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Corinne Datchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Seton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA