Meta-Communication and Role Reversal as an Intervention


pre-marital counseling, marriage and family therapy, behavioral sex therapy, intergenerational therapy


Pre-marital counseling has long been difficult for marriage and family therapists. The exploration of patterns and issues that is common in many cases becomes difficult due to the clients being in "love" or the perpetual myth that all married people live "happily ever after." This write up will talk about an intervention that was used by a co-therapy team in working with a pre-marital case. However, the concepts may be useful to a couple who has become "stuck" in therapy, parent-child dyads, and parent-adolescent dyads. Concepts from behavioral sex therapy (senate focus; Masters & Johnson, 1970) and intergenerational therapy (Friedman, 1991) theories were employed in forming the hypotheses and designing an intervention.

Original Publication Citation

Johnson, L. N. & Hander, K. (1998). Meta-communication and role reversal as an intervention. Journal of Psychotherapy and the Family, 9, 69-73. Reprinted in T.S. Nelson & T. S. Trepper (Eds.), 101 Interventions in Family Therapy, Volume II. New York, NY: Haworth Press.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Family Psychotherapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor