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FOR THE TRAINING AND MEMBERSHIP OF IMAGO RELATIONSHIP THERAPISTS

Clinical Research Project

IRI received several grants to conduct the first clinical trial of Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT). Led by a principal investigator and conducted by Certified Clinical Instructors, the trial will follow approximately 30 couples and a control group and measure their progress before, during and after receiving Imago Therapy.

The results of this trial will support the preliminary results of two previous studies regarding the effectiveness of IRT and will empirically prove that Imago Relationship Therapy is among the most effective methods known for treating couples.

A Clinical Trial of Imago Relationship Therapy

Clinical Efficacy of a Twelve-Week Protocol of Couples Therapy

In the last decade, a movement towards evidence-based practice (EBP) has taken hold in American counseling practices. Within the rapidly changing health care system, it will soon be necessary for treatment approaches to demonstrate efficacy and positive outcomes to qualify for insurance reimbursement, as well as research and training funds. It is anticipated that the need for Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) to become evidenced-based will only grow over time.

More importantly, moving the IRT community towards EBP will ultimately improve the services provided by IRT clinicians to their clients. EBPs fundamentally change the way clinicians work, the criteria used by communities and organizations to choose programs, the methods used in clinical training, and the accountability of program developers and their interventions (Sexton, Gilman, & Johnson-Erickson, 2005).

The present study seeks to examine the efficacy of treatment interventions with couples experiencing distress in their relationships. Specifically, it will examine interventions used over twelve weeks of treatment in IRT, a theoretical and applied methodology for working with couples in committed relationships.

Additionally, the study will examine:

– The ability of IRT treatment to increase levels of dispositional empathy in clients.

– The role of couple profile congruence on Five Factor Model personality and spirituality in predicting level of relationship satisfaction.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the ability of a 12-week treatment protocol in IRT:

– Significantly raise relationship satisfaction scores

РSignificantly increase the congruence of couple’s personality and spirituality profiles

– Significantly increase empathy scores

Thus, the outcome variables will be relationship satisfaction, profile congruence, and empathy.

There continue to be opportunities to expand the work that is being done within this research projects and donations to the Research Fund are making this possible.