Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

ABCT Couples Research and Treatment Special Interest Group

  • Dev Crasta
  • Kayla Knopp
  • Brian R. W. Baucom
  • Katherine J. W. BaucomEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_617-1


Online Forum Couple Therapy Email List Business Meeting Enrichment Program 
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Name of the Organization or Institution

ABCT Couples Research and Treatment Special Interest Group



The Couples Research and Treatment Special Interest Group (Couples SIG) of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT, formerly known as Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, or AABT) is a consortium of researchers and clinicians focused on couples research and practice. The Couples SIG was founded by a group of psychology researchers actively developing couples therapies. The Couples SIG is steadily growing in size and productivity and currently has 215 members (Eubanks-Fleming 2015). As a part of the ABCT, the Couples SIG promotes empirically supported treatment of couples and relationship problems both by promoting basic research into relationship functioning and clinical research into the assessment, prevention, and treatment of couple problems.


The Couples SIG encourages professional networking primarily through programming at the annual ABCT convention, including a preconference workshop focused on current issues in couples research and treatment, a business meeting, and an evening social for the whole SIG as well as a student-only portion. Additionally, members of the SIG are active poster and symposia presenters, clinical training workshop leaders, panelists, and members of clinical roundtables at each convention. During the year, the Couples SIG continues to encourage communication between its members through its website (www.abctcouples.org), a biannual newsletter, and an email list serve. All online forums accommodate both discussion about research issues and clinical support for providers specializing in couples therapy.

The Couples SIG also encourages the growth and development of the next generation of couples researchers. At the annual ABCT convention, the Couples SIG sponsors many student presentations at the Friday Night Welcoming Cocktail Party’s SIG Poster Exposition and an all-student symposium at the general convention to help feature student work. Additionally, the Couples SIG has created the Robert L. Weiss Student Poster Award to recognize outstanding student research. The Couples SIG also maintains resources for students looking to specialize in couples work including a list of doctoral programs and APA-approved internships that have a strong couples focus.

Finally, the SIG advocates for the visibility of relationship research both within and outside of ABCT and encourages dissemination of empirically supported best practices. Currently, the interventions supported by research within the Couples SIG include (but are not limited to) behavioral and cognitive-behavioral couple therapy (BCT/CBCT), integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT), emotionally focused therapy (EFT), couple relationship education (CRE), and specializations of these approaches focused on couples with concurrent psychological and medical issues such as PTSD, substance use, depression, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The Couples SIG also contributes to the overall quality and output of ongoing research in the field by emphasizing topics such as research methodology, grant funding, and translational issues in their conference programming as well as advocacy efforts.



  1. Eubanks-Fleming, C. J., (2015). ABCT Couples SIG Treasurer’s Update (C. Carrington, A.M. Parsons, & K.Z. Pentel, Eds.). Couples Research & Therapy Newsletter, 21(2), 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dev Crasta
    • 1
  • Kayla Knopp
    • 2
  • Brian R. W. Baucom
    • 3
  • Katherine J. W. Baucom
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.University of RochesterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.University of DenverDenverUSA
  3. 3.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Thorana Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Utah State UniversitySanta FeUnited States