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"The online format of couples therapy has grown a lot since the pandemic: therapists and patients see it as an option"
Martiño Rodríguez leads a research to compare the face-to-face and online application of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, with a sample of 22 Latin American couples.
10 | 10 | 2022
"The online format of couples therapy has grown a lot since the pandemic. Currently, both therapists and patients consider it as an option". This was the opinion of Martiño Rodríguez, researcher of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra, at framework on Mental Health Day, which is celebrated on October 10.
As he explained, the face-to-face format is maintained, but from Covid-19, "many couples automatically consider doing online sessions instead of interrupting them when they cannot attend, for example, because of a trip to work, or because of an illness that prevents them from going to enquiry". In their view, this has a positive impact on follow-up.
He also commented that digitalization has opened up new scenarios: "It has generated a leap in psychotherapeutic care services. Many people are considering receiving treatment from a good therapist who has been recommended to them in another city, and even in another country".
Relationship quality and emotional well-being
Martiño Rodríguez participated in the 53rd edition of the International Annual congress of the Society for research in Psychotherapy (SPR), which took place at the University of Denver (USA). There he presented the preliminary results of E-E(f)FECTS, a project of research that compares face-to-face and online application of Emotion Focused Couples Therapy.
essay This project is closely linked to E(f)FECTS, the first randomized clinical trial in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) in Spanish-speaking countries. It is led by ICS at partnership with Brigham Young University (USA).
E-E(f)FECTS is funded by the SPR and currently has a sample of 22 couples in several Latin American countries, mainly from Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina. It measures aspects such as whether the quality of the couple's relationship improves, how emotional wellbeing evolves, whether anxiety, depression or stress is present...
"For the moment we have found that the effects are similar and that there are no significant differences," said Martiño Rodríguez. However, they have observed differences between men and women: "In men, mental health worsens during the first sessions and then improves. In women there is more variability, a common patron saint is not detected". Nevertheless, he insisted on the need to expand the sample and continue research to obtain significant findings.
Emotion Focused Therapy is a couples therapy model developed by Dr. Susan Johnson (University of Ottawa, Canada), which has had extensive empirical support through clinical trials with U.S. and Canadian couples.