Working methods, basic philosophy and results of an experimental therapeutic program: the Communication Centre for marital partners at Lovenjoel, near Leuven
The article gives a short description of the working methods, the basic philosophy and the results of an experimental therapeutic program for marital partners, established at the University of Leuven in 1972. This program is organised on a three-week, full-time basis and includes daily sessions of couples therapy by dual-sex teams of therapists, as well as daily meetings with the total group of clients. In the patter, the emphasis is put upon training and cognitive learning. This intensive, educational program is meant to offer an alternative to more traditional forms of psychiatric treatment. The first assessment of the clinical results is very promising. An interesting finding is that those clients who bring about some concrete change in their lives, continue to improve after the therapy and this independently of the insights gained or progress made during the training. A first attempt to operationalise the efficiency of the program was also made. The partner relationship was analysed by means of a revision of the Relationship Inventory (Barrett-Lennard, Lietaer). At the end of the three week program a very significant increase on the Positive Regard scale and a significant negative change on the Directive and Unconditionality scales was found (N=32). Also, on the Transparancy and Empathy scales a significant positive change was found in the perception of the attitudes of the partner. This same change pattern was found in a follow-up research after 6 months. As for the individual growth, measured by the Personal Orientation Inventory (Shostrom), also very significant positive changes on a number of dimensions of the selfactualising person were found. The sexual adaptation for cases of primary and situationally anorgasmy and primary impotence was measured by a subjective rating scale (N=13). Most patients rated on this scale started the program on a level of 'no pleasant bodily contact' and arrived after the program on a level of 'pleasant coital movements'. At the 6 month's follow-up they continued to function on the same level.