A Survey of the Effect of Brief Solution-focused Approach on Reduction of Marital Conflicts

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A Survey of the Effect of Brief Solution-focused Approach on Reduction of Marital Conflicts

Research Center for Psychiatry and Health Psychology, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran

Introduction: The adverse conflicts are the set of the events imposed on one or more family members or all of them or the family and affect all the family members. The present study is aimed to evaluate MPHP effect of solution-focused approach on the reduction of the marital conflicts of the couples in Qom city.
Methods: The method was semi-experimental with pre-test, post-test and experiment and control group. The study population was the couples referring family consulting centre and they were volunteers. The sample size was 50 couples being a volunteer in the study, and they were selected as convenient and random sampling method in experiment and control group. The study instrument was including a demographic questionnaire and marital conflict questionnaire of Sanayi. For data analysis, in addition to descriptive statistics methods, covariance analysis method was applied.
Results: The data analysis showed that solution-focused approach was effective on whole marital conflict scale (F = 24.089, P< 0.001) and all the subscales of low collaboration (F = 7.4, P< 0.001), low sexual intercourse (F = 50.4, P< 0.001), increase of emotional reactions (F = 10.89, P< 0.001), increase of child support (F = 22.3, P< 0.001), increase of the relation with the relatives (F = 77.4, P< 0.001), reduction of the relation with the relatives and friends of the spouse (F = 31.02, P< 0.001), separating finances (F = 71.1, P< 0.001), and reduction of effective relation (F = 1.73, P< 0.001).
Conclusion: The problem-solving skills among the couples can prevent many conflicts. Problem-solving training is of great importance as one of the life skills, and it is used more in solution-focused approach. By various techniques of this approach, we can help the couples with the problems that know the solution and improve their marital satisfaction.

Keywords: Brief solution-focused couple therapy approach, couples, marital conflict

How to cite this article:
Shahsiah M. A Survey of the Effect of Brief Solution-focused Approach on Reduction of Marital Conflicts. J Hum Health 2015;1:67-71

How to cite this URL:
Shahsiah M. A Survey of the Effect of Brief Solution-focused Approach on Reduction of Marital Conflicts. J Hum Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 Sep 21];1:67-71. Available from: http://jhhjournal.org/


Mostly, marital life failure is because seen each other in a useless circle of the endless talking, or they feel alone in their marital life.[1] Unfortunately, divorce statistic is increased recently. Our country is not an exception and divorce is increasing in Tehran, and it is increased by 12%. There is one divorce for every 5 marriages, and it is increased gradually.

An intimate couple relationship is including the challenge that they learn how to communicate with each other and how they are different. In keeping the communication and the differences, the conflict is created. When various degrees of independence and dependence are required for the common decision making of the couples, the contradictory situation is occurred. Wal and Nolan (1987) stated that the conflicts can be defined in a range of responses ranging from mild disagreement to violent conflict.[3] In various studies, anxious couples reported a high level of conflict, negative feeling and complaint compared to the peers without any problems.[4] As the inability in solving the conflicts leads into losing the intimacy, better understanding of the conflict, and helping the spouses to learn constructive management is of great importance.[5]

Today, the family therapists proposed some solutions to reduce the conflict between the couples and one of the approaches is the solution-focused approach. This approach is a form of brief treatment relying on the clients’ resources. The treatment model aimed to help the clients to reach their goals via creating the solutions for their problems. This approach is in contradiction with the problem-focused traditional treatments in most of other approaches and some of the other treatment methods. Myers besides referring to the competition quality between the opposite philosophies believes that individuals respond the conflict via various ways.[6]

According to a solution-focused therapist, continuous change is unavoidable. This, it is emphasized on changing issue in treatment process not on impossible issues. This model emphasizes on taking small steps for the start and change, and the process is changed. The capabilities and solutions are emphasized in this model rather than the problems.[7]

Like the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) model, solution-focused model aim is to solve the complaints being raised. They do it by helping the clients to think about the different activity making them happy in their life. Solution-focused therapists rely on the clients to achieve their goals more than MRI therapists. They believe that the human beings have the required skill to solve their problems but by exaggerating about their problems, they cannot see their strengths and abilities. It is assumed in this approach that the client knows what to do to solve his problems, and the therapist should help them to make new application cases for the pre-learned knowledge. The general aim of this approach is helping the client to start problem-solving process.[8]

de Shazer uses the metaphor of a lock and a key to explain his therapeutic approach – clients’ complaints are like locks on doors that can be opened to a happy life on condition that the can find the key. When it is tried to find about the reason of locked door, the time is lost, and failure is increased. Especially when the family tries to find the key, the general role of the therapist is to find the ‘main key’ for the family, some of the interventions being applied for a range of the locks.[8] He considered common treatment collaboration between the client and the counsellor and both discover the solutions.[9] Despite the problem-focused view, solution-focused family therapy emphasizes on finding the solutions. This view focuses on the definition of the presented problem and is based on systematic view and social structuralism.[10]

Divorce process starts with the tension between the couples, and this leads into emotional indifference and conflict. This incompatibility breaks the social relations of the people and the members and endangers the organizational unity and leads into family dissolution. Based on high divorce rate and the importance of the family in our country, the present study aimed to evaluate the effect of solution-focused family therapy on reduction of marital conflicts in couples susceptible to divorce.


The present study is an applied design. The semi-experimental method was used in this study. The present study was conducted on control and experiment group. The study population of the study was all the couples referring to family consulting centre of Qom city. A total of 50 couples registered to participate in the study and they were divided into experiment and control group randomly. For both groups, a pre-test was done 1-week before doing consulting method and post-test was done after the end of the sessions. The pre-test was performed of all the subjects in the first session. For the experiment group, the solution-focused approach was performed in 6 sessions and the second group (control) did not receive any education or treatment method. The sessions were held weekly and totally 6 sessions were taken. Finally, post-test was performed of both groups. The sessions took averagely 1-h and half. For data analysis, covariance analysis test was applied. The following instruments were applied in the present study. Marital conflict questionnaire: A marital conflict questionnaire is a 54-item tool that measures marital conflict devised by Dr. Bagher Sanai et al. (2007). This questionnaire measures eight aspects of marital conflict: Reduced cooperation, reduced sexual intercourse, increased emotional reactions, increased child support, increased personal relationships with relatives, reduced family relationship with the spouse’s relatives, separating finances, and reduction of effective communication.

Validity and reliability

The Cronbach’s alpha for the questionnaire as a whole for a population of 270 persons was calculated at 0.96 and for each of the eight subscales as follows: Decrease in cooperation 0.81, decrease in sexual relations 0.61, increase in emotional reactions 0.70, increase in trying to gain child support 0.33, increase in personal relationships with relatives 0.86, reduced family relationship with the spouse’s relatives 0.89, separating finances 0.71, and decrease in effective communication 0.69.[11],[12]

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