The Process of Couple Healing Following Infidelity: A Qualitative Study
infidelity, affair, marital therapy, couples therapy, treatment
Infidelity can have a devastating effect on marriages and individuals. This qualitative study explores the process of healing from infidelity and therapist behaviors that facilitate this process. In-depth client interviews suggest that healing occurs as couples pass through a seven-step process: (1) exploration of emotions and thoughts surrounding the infidelity, (2) expression of these to their partner, (3) development of empathy, (4) softening of emotions, (5) acceptance of personal responsibility and reduction of blame, (6) establishment of accountability, and (7) restoration of trust. While initially these factors occur sequentially, the process gradually becomes non-linear. Therapist behaviors which facilitate healing from infidelity are discussed.
Original Publication Citation
Bird, M. H., Butler, M. H., & Fife, S. T. (2007). The process of couple healing following infidelity: A qualitative study. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 6(4), 1-25.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bird, Mark H.; Butler, Mark H.; and Fife, Stephen T., "The Process of Couple Healing Following Infidelity: A Qualitative Study" (2007). Faculty Publications. 4451.
Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© 2007 by The Haworth Press. All rights reserved.
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