Online Intervention for Couples Affected by Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Lisa A. Benson, Brian D. Doss, Andrew Christensen

Abstract


This article describes recent developments in online interventions for distressed couples, with a focus on an adaptation of an online program to address the needs of couples in which one partner has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This program, OurRelationship.com, is based on Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy, an empirically supported treatment which builds closeness between partners through empathy and acceptance of one another’s differences rather than emphasizing short-term change. We review the rationale for adapting the OurRelationship.com program to focus on couples affected by GAD, the structure of this intervention, and a brief case study illustrating our clinical approach. In this case study, a couple who participated in the online intervention reported that by the end of the program, they had been able to recognize the patterns of communication they had developed related to the female partner’s generalized anxiety. Moreover, they reported they had been able to develop new strategies for responding to these issues that improved the quality of their relationship.

Keywords


integrative behavioral couple therapy; internet; online intervention; couples; anxiety; generalized anxiety disorder