Understanding change in conjoint psychotherapy: Inviting clients to comment upon the validity of standardized change scores

Michael M. Olson, Candyce S. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


In an exploratory study using qualitative and quantitative methods, 14 adults presenting for conjoint therapy at university-based marital and family therapy clinics responded to standardized self-report measures before therapy and after six weeks and participated in in-depth interviews exploring their "lived-experience" in therapy compared with their individual results on quantitative measures. Participants often described change more positively than was suggested by scores on quantitative measures. Additionally, participants' accounts provided a context and description of the process of change measured quantitatively. Implications for the practice of marriage and family therapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004



  • conjoint therapy
  • qualitative and quantitative research
  • standardized change scores
  • therapeutic change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

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