systemagazin

Online-Journal für systemische Entwicklungen

RELATIONAL ETHICS AMONG COUPLES IN THERAPY

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Heute vor fünf Jahren ist Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy (Foto: EFTA-Tagung 2003 in Hamburg), Begründer des kontextuellen Ansatzes in der Familientherapie, im Alter von 86 Jahren gestorben. Rashmi Gangamma, Mitarbeiter an der Ohio State Couple and Family Therapy Clinic hat sich auf der Grundlage dieses Ansatzes in seiner Dissertation die Frage untersucht, inwiefern beziehungsethische Fragen in der Paartherapie angesprochen werden sollten:„Relational ethics is one of the four dimensions in the contextual approach to therapy. Though its concepts have been widely endorsed (Goldenthal, 1996), very little research exists on its influence on relationship variables. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of relational ethics on relationship satisfaction among couples in therapy. A time-series design was adopted and data were collected at intake and end of each session until session six. A total of 39 heterosexual couples from The Ohio State University’s Couple and Family Therapy clinic were included in the sample. At the end of six sessions, a total of eleven couples remained. Results showed a positive correlation between relational ethics and relationship satisfaction at baseline for both male and female partners. Multilevel Linear Modeling (MLM) using HLM6 showed significant variance in relationship satisfaction at baseline and over time within and between couples. At baseline, female partners’ perception of unfairness in both horizontal and vertical relationships, and male partners’ perception of unfairness in horizontal relationship emerged as significant predictors of lower relationship satisfaction among couples and between partners. Significant variance was also noted in relationship satisfaction over time between and within couples. While the baseline predictors also explained variance between couples, there was a difference in the predictors of within-couple variance. Here female partners’ perception of unfairness was indicative of lower relationship satisfaction in both partners, and perception of unfairness among male partners was indicative of higher relationship satisfaction levels among female partners across time points. Longer duration of relationship emerged as a predictor of lower relationship satisfaction among couples at baseline and a slower rate of change in satisfaction levels over time. While more research is needed to provide a more comprehensive picture of the complex nature of these relationships, results provide empirical evidence for addressing relational ethics in couples therapy“
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