Effectiveness of the Relationship Enhancement® Model
The Relationship Enhancement® (RE) Model is both a brief therapy model and a psychoeducational program that employs an innovative skills-training methodology for empowering even the most distressed couples and families to resolve current and future problems on their own. Following the principles of an educational model rooted in learning therory, it accomplishes its goals by teaching a set of practical skills that enables couples and families to uncover and communicate their deepest feelings, concerns and desires, and to create solutions to problems at their deepest levels. The ten RE skills taught are: Empathic, Expressive, Discussion/Negotiation, Problem/Conflict Resolution, Facilitation, Conflict Management, Self-Change, Helping-Others Change, Generalization and Maintenance. An additional strength of RE therapy is that it equalizes power within relationships, both between genders and across generations.
Comparative studies of interventions for couples and families based on the Relationship Enhancement® (RE) Model with traditional, gestalt, behavioral, and eclectic methods involving random assignment of clients to treatments showed RE to be effective and superior to the other treatments on some or all of the attitudinal and outcome variables studied.
For example, in one of these studies, experienced eclectic marital therapists in a mental health clinic were given three days of training in RE therapy. New marital therapy clients were then randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) the therapist employed only his or her personally preferred pre-training marital therapy methods, or (2) the therapist employed only RE methods.
After ten weeks, the gains of the RE clients were significantly greater on all variables studied: communication, the general quality of their relationship, and marital adjustment.
In an award-winning, meta-analytic study involving thousands of couples and over a dozen approaches, RE clients showed far more powerful improvement effects than clients in any of the other interventions for couples or families with which it was compared.
Maintenance of client gains also have been excellent. For example, six-months after terminating, parents and adolescents in an RE program showed significantly greater gains in the quality of their relationship and all other areas studied than those who experienced a more traditional approach.