PSYCHOTHERAPY techniques for working with family members as a unit are receiving increasing interest. One of these new methods is the psychotherapy of groups composed exclusively of married couples. Specific therapeutic advantages have been claimed, but serious theoretical and practical objections have also been raised. This clinical report will focus, therefore, on the following questions: (1) How does the existence of intimate extragroup relation ships (the marriage) affect group dynamics? (2) How does the presence of the spouse in the group influence one's psychotherapy? (3) What are the particular positions of cotherapists in a group of couples?
This paper will present evidence from our own group experience and a review of the published reports on marital group psychotherapy to propose that, as a focal therapy, marital group psychotherapy may be a particularly effective approach for couples for whom the main problem is their marital relationship, especially