Marriage Preparation From the Perspective 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

SBFT focuses on the aim a couple wants to achieve. It centers on talking about the present and future conditions of both the partners. Some of the major contributions in the field were made by Milton Erickon, who provided the basics of hypnotic techniques. He asserted the use of hypnosis techniques to discuss with couples the existing and potential problems in their marital life. He focused on the effective and open two way communication regarding all issues of marital life including trust, expectations, sex, and excessive alcohol use (or abuse) by one of the partners and other similar issues (Erickson, 1976). Erickson made use of his proposed hypnosis techniques in counseling couples for solution of all the problems by letting them speak their heart. A

wide variety of hypnotic techniques is of great importance in marriage preparation for the couples who have some issues between them before marriage.

The basis of the SBFT was, however, found by Steve de Shazer. His work is based on his own relation with his wife. He argued in most of his work that the partners, before and after marriage should be bale to find resources from within and therefore, must be able to solve problems themselves ( Shazer, 2000). The focus of Shazer's point-of-view about SBFT is the focus of the effort in preparation period on the future so that the couple may lead a harmonious and happy life by having an insight into themselves rather than looking for some third party to resolve their conflicts (Shazer, 1985).

On the basis of Shazer's work, Richard Fisch built more about the SBFT. Fisch

developed the MRI (Mental research Institute) model for Solution Based Therapy. He contributed that developing a strategy of detecting the change in the peace of mind in either of the partners can bring out important information which may prove helpful in devising a solution strategy for future life of the couple (Fisch, 1982). His work was augmented by the work of Satir and lead to the formation of modern SBFT used in marriage preparation.

It was Bradbury, with one of his colleagues, who undertook a meta-analysis of all the previous studies made by a number of researchers and scholars to explore the factors which lead to the success or failure of a marriage. He proposed a model to elaborate the factors which lead to success of a marriage. The two major variables which affect the marriage stability, (and should be taken into account while preparing the couple for marriage) include the stressful events and the enduring capability of the two partners.

These two basic factors act as stimulators and determine the stability and quality of marital life (Bradbury, 1995).


It would be appropriate to sum up the discussion by considering the work of Martin Seligman. He has asserted the importance of self-help in most of his work. The same he asserts for those who are to start a new relationship. He argues that each and every treatment or therapy given to any person should enable him or her to cope with the challenges in the coming life. He agrees with Shazer in the regard that couples should focus on the self-help techniques to look for bliss and harmony in their marital life. Similarly, Bradbury also puts forth the same point by relating the 'enduring' factor in dictating the quality and stability of any marriage.


Bowen, Murray (1990) Family Therapy in Clinical Practice: Jason Aronson Publishing.

De Shazer, S. (1985). Keys to solution in brief therapy. New York: W.W. Norton.

Erickson & Rossi (1976) Two-Level Communication and the Microdynamics of Trance and Suggestion, The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1976 Reprinted in Collected Papers Vol.1

Fisch, R., Weakland, J.H., & Segal, L. (1982). The tactics of change. San Francisco:


Gottman, John (1999). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Crown Publishers, New York Times.

Johnson, S.M. (2008). "My, How Couples Therapy Has Changed!: Attachment, Love and Science, Retrieved from

Karney, B.J. And Thomas N. Bradbury (1995) The longitudinal course of marital quality and stability: A review of theory, method, and research. Psychological Bulletin, 118 (1), 3-34.

Miller, G., & de Shazer, S. (2000). Emotions in solution-focused therapy: A re-

examination. Family Process, 39,5?23.

Satir V; Baldwin M (1983). Satir step-by-step: a guide to creating change in families. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.

Seligman, Martin E.P. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive…

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