Title

Enacting Relationship in Marriage and Family Therapy: A Conceptual and Operational Definition of an Enactment

Keywords

therapy, relational therapies, enactments, marriage and family therapy

Abstract

Enactments are a potential common clinical process factor contributing to positive outcomes in many relational therapies. Enactments provide therapists a medium for mediating relationships through simultaneous experiential intervention and change at multiple levels of relationships—including specific relationship disagreements and problems, interaction process surrounding these issues, and underlying emotions and attachment issues confounded with those problems. We propose a model of enactments in marriage and family therapy consisting of three components—initiation operations, intervention operations, and evaluation operations. We offer a conceptual framework to help clinicians know when and to what purpose to use this model of enactments. We provide an operational description of each component of an enactment, exemplifying them using a hypothetical clinical vignette. Directions for future research are suggested.

Original Publication Citation

Davis, S. D., & Butler, M. H.(2004). Enacting relationships in marriage and family therapy: A conceptual and operational definition of an enactment. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(3), 319-333.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2004-7

Publisher

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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