Short and Long-Term Outcomes of Hope Focused Couple Therapy

Jennifer Ripley, Lindsay Solfelt, Anna Ord, Rachel C. Garthe, Everett L. Worthington, Tiffany Channing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hope focused couple therapy (HFCT) is often spiritually integrated treatment using forgiveness, prayer, sanctification themes, and relational virtues as mechanisms for change. Building on earlier work examining the effects of HFCT, this clinical field study of couple therapy examined trends and predictors of relational outcomes. Couples (N = 236; N = 472 individuals) seeking HFCT were assessed at three time points: pre and post-treatment and 6 months after treatment. A subsample was assessed at a fourth time point: 2–10 years after treatment (n = 54 couples; n = 122 individuals). Couples showed improvements in relational outcomes, whether spiritual integration was included or not. Cohen’s d effect sizes in relationship satisfaction ranged from 0.44 for long-term change to 1.08 for pre and post-change. Participants in the clinical range at baseline improved the most, while non-clinical couples (at baseline) maintained rela-tionship adjustment. Multilevel growth modeling indicated that couples increased in dyadic adjustment from pre-intervention through 6-month follow-up. For the subsample of individuals with an additional long-term follow-up assessment, multilevel growth modeling indicated these couples also showed a significant rate of increase in dyadic adjustment from pre-intervention to long-term follow-up. Though these results need to be replicated with a comparison or control group, these findings suggest that HFCT may assist couples during times of relational stress with expectation of maintenance or gains in dyadic adjustment over the long term

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSpirituality in Clinical Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Couple therapy outcome
  • Hope focused couple
  • Spiritually integrated couple therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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