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Learning Sobriety Together: A Randomized Clinical Trial Examining Behavioral Couples Therapy With Alcoholic Female Patients

NCJ Number
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Volume: 74 Issue: 3 Dated: 2006 Pages: 579-91
William Fals-Stewart; Gary R. Birchler; Michelle L. Kelley
Date Published
13 pages

This document reports on a randomized controlled trial aimed at determining the impacts of three intensive interventions on married or cohabiting female alcoholic patients and their male partners; the authors discuss the research study, methodology, and outcomes.


A total of 138 married or cohabiting female alcoholic patients and their non-substance-abusing male partners were randomly assigned to one of three equally intensive interventions: behavioral couples therapy plus individual-based treatment; individual-based treatment only; or psychoeducational attention control treatment. During treatment, participants in BCT showed significantly greater improvement in dyadic adjustment than those in IBT or PACT; drinking frequency was not significantly different among participants in the different conditions. During the one-year post-treatment follow-up, compared with participants who received IBT or PACT, participants who received BCT reported the following: fewer days of drinking; fewer drinking-related negative consequences; higher dyadic adjustment; and reduced partner violence. Publisher Abstract Provided