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Marital therapy for dealing with depression


Bodenmann, Guy; Randall, Ashley K (2013). Marital therapy for dealing with depression. In: Power, M. The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Mood Disorders. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 215-227.

Abstract

Depression is a mental disorder affecting not only the patient himself/herself but also the social environment and primarily the couple in a significant way. Symptoms of depression such as depressed mood, loss of energy, lack of libido, sleep problems, low motivation, decreased concentration and suicidal thoughts are difficult for the partner to handle. Thus generally both partners of the couple where one suffers from depression are heavily burdened. Depression is like a “we-disease”: both are concerned, both are part of the trouble and both can play an important role in the developmental course, the remission and the likelihood for relapse. Thus, the treatment of depression should not only focus on the depressed individual but also include the partner as an important team member. When depression is considered as a “we-disease” this means not only to invite the partner once or from time to time for psycho-education, telling him/her his/her role in helping the depressed overcoming the disorder, but also to validate him/her in his/her suffering and burden and motivating the couple as a whole to fight jointly against the depression. Both can contribute to the therapy, the depressed as well as the partner, as both have resources and deficits and receiving and providing support from each other makes both feel better and worthy and the couple remains more balanced and symmetric. Findings on couple therapy for the treatment of depression are presented.

Abstract

Depression is a mental disorder affecting not only the patient himself/herself but also the social environment and primarily the couple in a significant way. Symptoms of depression such as depressed mood, loss of energy, lack of libido, sleep problems, low motivation, decreased concentration and suicidal thoughts are difficult for the partner to handle. Thus generally both partners of the couple where one suffers from depression are heavily burdened. Depression is like a “we-disease”: both are concerned, both are part of the trouble and both can play an important role in the developmental course, the remission and the likelihood for relapse. Thus, the treatment of depression should not only focus on the depressed individual but also include the partner as an important team member. When depression is considered as a “we-disease” this means not only to invite the partner once or from time to time for psycho-education, telling him/her his/her role in helping the depressed overcoming the disorder, but also to validate him/her in his/her suffering and burden and motivating the couple as a whole to fight jointly against the depression. Both can contribute to the therapy, the depressed as well as the partner, as both have resources and deficits and receiving and providing support from each other makes both feel better and worthy and the couple remains more balanced and symmetric. Findings on couple therapy for the treatment of depression are presented.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychotherapeutisches Zentrum des Psychologischen Instituts UZH
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:29 Oct 2013 07:37
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:04
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN:9781119978923
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118316153.ch9
Related URLs:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781118316153

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