ERIC Number: ED329855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Marital and Family Therapy: Implications of Research for Alcoholism Treatment.
O'Farrell, Timothy J.
This synopsis of the outcome literature on marital and family treatment (MFT) drew three conclusions. First, intervening at the marital/family level with nonalcoholic family members can motivate an initial commitment to change in the alcoholic who is unwilling to seek help. Second, MFT alone, or with individual alcoholism treatment, produces better marital and/or drinking outcomes during the 6 months following treatment entry than methods that don't involve the spouse or other family members. Third, studies of long-term maintenance suggest that behavioral marital therapy (BMT) with both an alcohol and relationship focus may reduce marital and/or drinking deterioration better than individual methods during long-term recovery. Recommendations for when, and at what level to intervene include the following: (1) intervene only at the individual level when the alcoholic refuses consent to contact family members or the family refuses involvement; (2) include adult family members who live with the alcoholic in the assessment process for all who consent; (3) intervene with family members when they seek and the alcoholic refuses help if both alcoholic and family members are free of serious drug abuse and major psychopathology; and (4) do not reserve MFT for alcoholics with serious relationship problems or for cases in which marital/family factors trigger or maintain the drinking. (LLL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).