Document Type : Original Article
Graduated Masters General Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Shahrood
Graduate Master Counseling and Guidance, Islamic Azad University
M.A. in Counseling, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic Azad University
PhD Student Counseling, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Counseling, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Tehran
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of integrated behavioral couple therapy on the reduction of couples’ burnout and fear of intimacy. Methods: this was a quasi-experimental design study with a control group, pretest, posttest and a two-month follow up. The research population consisted of couples, who were referred to counseling centers Hamrah, Mehravar and Dinyar in region 2 of Tehran municipality from April to May 2016 (N= 121 couples). Of these, 29 couples who scored high on the Couple Burnout Scale (Pines, 1996) and Fear of Intimacy Scale Descutner & Thelen (1991) were selected and 16 of them were selected and placed in two experimental 8 couples and control 8 couples groups. The experimental group received 10 weekly sessions of Integrated Behavioral Couple Therapy intervention as outlined by Christensen, Atkins, Baucom, & Yi (2010). Each session lasted for 90 minutes. The control group did not receive any intervention. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA. Results: Results showed significant differences between the experimental and control groups in the couple burnout (F= 32.73, P= 0.001) and fear of intimacy (F= 22.64, P= 0.001) in the post-test and follow-up. Conclusion: Due to the fact that couple burnout and fear of intimacy puts a great deal of strain upon the marital relationship, and because the integrated behavioral couple therapy with the reform and increased interaction between couples, increases satisfaction and reduces stress, it is recommended couple therapists use this intervention method as an effective treatment to reduce marital distress and fear of intimacy in couples.