The first three sessions consist of an evaluation period where the therapist learns about the concerns of the couple.
In the first session, the therapist usually sees both partners together, learns what brings the couple to therapy, and obtains a brief history of their relationship.
Both the integrative and traditional behavioral couples therapy models have origins primarily in behaviorism.
While traditional behavioral couples therapy has more roots in social learning principles and the later model in Skinnerian behaviorism.
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Behavioral marital therapy, sometimes called behavioral couples therapy, has its origins in behaviorism and is a form of behavior therapy.
Parts of the behavioral couples therapy model, in particular strategic use of the communication skills to reinforce drug abstinence and open dialogue about treatment, were introduced as a method for getting drug abusing partners into treatment, a method known as Community reinforcement approach and family training.In these individual sessions, the therapist explores each partner's relationship concerns and individual history.In the fourth session, the therapist sees both partners together for the "feedback session." The therapist may gather some final information in the beginning of the session, but most of the session is devoted to feedback from the therapist, in which he or she describes the couple's difficulties and strengths and how therapy will try to assist the couple.The therapist may suggest couples read a self-help book during treatment that serves as a guideline for IBCT therapy.Also during this first session, the therapist normally gives each partner some questionnaires to complete and bring to their individual sessions, which are the next two sessions.
A major part of the feedback session is the therapist's formulation of the couple's problems, a conceptualization of the major themes in the couple's struggles, the understandable reasons why the couple has these struggles, how their efforts to resolve the struggles so often fail, and how therapy can help.