are nearly as effective as active medications whereas psychotherapies are more effective than psychological placebos. However, it is shown that when properly designed, psychological placebos are as effective as accepted psychotherapies.
Dunn, R. L. & Schwebel, A. I. (1995). Journal of Family Psychology, 9(1), 58-68.
This meta-analytic review examines the findings of 15 methodologically rigorous marital therapy outcome studies reported in 19 journal articles. These findings were used to assess the efficacy of three treatment approaches in fostering change in spouses' relationship-related behavior, cognitions, affect, and general assessment of their relationship. Behavioral marital therapy (BMT), cognitive-behavioral marital therapy (CBMT), and insight-oriented marital therapy (IOMT) were all found to be more effective than no treatment in bringing change in spouses' behavior and in the general assessment of their relationship. IOMT was more effective than BMT or CBMT in bringing change in spouses' general relationship assessment, while CBMT was the only approach that induced significant change in spouses' posttherapy relationship-related cognitions. The role of meta-analytic reviews of marital therapy approaches is also discussed.
Rational Emotive Therapy
Lyons, L. C. & Woods, P. J. (1991). Clinical Psychology Review, 11(4), 357-369
Reports results from a meta-analysis of 70 rational-emotive therapy (RET) outcome studies. 236 comparisons of RET to baseline, control groups, cognitive behavior modification, behavior therapy, or other psychotherapies were examined. Ss receiving RET demonstrated significant improvement over baseline measures and control groups. Effect-size was significantly related to therapist experience and to duration of the therapy. Those comparisons that were rated high in internal validity had significantly higher effect-sizes than medium validity studies. Outcome measures rated as low in reactivity had significantly higher effect-sizes than more reactive measures. RET was found to be an effective form of therapy. This conclusion, however, was tempered by methodological flaws in the studies reviewed, such as lack of follow-up data and information regarding attrition rates.
Barbato, A. & D'Avanzo, B. (2008). Psychiatric Quarterly, 79(2). 121-132.
Data from clinical trials of couple therapy for depression have never been subjected to systematic analyses. We performed a meta-analysis of eight controlled trials involving 567 subjects. No difference was found on depressive symptoms between couple therapy and individual psychotherapy. Relationship distress was significantly reduced in the couple therapy group. Too few data are available for comparisons with drug therapy and no treatment. The findings are weakened by small sample sizes, assessments at the end of treatment or short follow-up, unclear sample representativeness, heterogeneity among studies. The mediating role of improvement in quality of couple relationships is not supported by data. However, it has not been adequately tested. Evidence on efficacy of couple therapy as a treatment for depression is inconclusive. The evidence for improvement in couple relationships may favor the choice of couple therapy when