Psychologist Empathy and Couple Relationship Education Outcomes

Louise Williams (). Psychologist Empathy and Couple Relationship Education Outcomes Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Louise Williams
Thesis Title Psychologist Empathy and Couple Relationship Education Outcomes
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Professor Kim Halford
Total pages 89
Language eng
Subjects 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Abstract/Summary Therapist empathy predicts better outcome in individual therapy and marital and family therapy (MFT). Couple Relationship Education (CRE) is early intervention intended to strengthen couple relationships and prevent future relationship problems. However, there is almost no research on whether empathy is associated with CRE outcomes. Eighty-eight participants (44 couples) were randomly assigned to receive RELATE or RELATE with Couple CARE. RELATE consisted of the completion of an inventory assessing couple relationship strengths and challenges plus a feedback session to discuss the relationship and identify goals for relationship enhancement. The RELATE with Couple CARE condition involved completing the same inventory and feedback session plus the six-session, relationship skills training Couple CARE program. Recordings of samples of sessions were rated to assess educator empathy towards both members of the couple. Multilevel model analyses found there was no relationship between therapist empathy and change in women or men’s relationship satisfaction. However, there was a trend for men’s initial relationship satisfaction to predict educator empathy in the RELATE with Couple CARE condition. It is possible that empathy is easier to demonstrate towards men who are initially more satisfied with their relationship, than men who are less satisfied. Implications for psychological practice and future research are discussed with a particular focus on the importance of empathy when conducting a CRE program.
Keyword empathy
Couple Relationship Education

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Created: Thu, 08 Mar 2012, 08:16:35 EST by Louise Williams on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences