Probability and nonprobability are the two general categories of sampling. Probability sampling uses random selection, whereas nonprobability sampling does not. For example, if you wanted to study the effects of divorce on the psychological development of adolescents, you could gather a population of a certain number of adolescents whose parents were divorced. Then, out of that population, you could randomly select 25 of those people. If you wanted to use nonprobability sampling, you would choose specific people who had met predetermined criteria. For this Discussion, consider how samples would be chosen for both probability and nonprobability sampling structures.
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Running head: SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH: COUPLE COUNSELING 1
SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH: COUPLE COUNSELING 8
Social Work Research: Couple Counseling
Social Work Research: Couple Counseling
Currently, the practice of couple counseling is recognized as beneficial to provide sound relationships and save family life. Thus, over 50% of marriages in the USA end in divorce (Copen, Daniels, Vespa, & Moshe, 2012). Scientific researches indicate that the lasting rate of divorce among first marriages is 40-50% (Gottman & Silver, 2015). Meanwhile, 40% of marriages that end in divorce occur within the first five years of marriage, and 67% occur within ten years (Gottman & Silver, 2015). Furthermore, statistics show that failure rates for second marriages are similar or potentially higher than for first marriages (Copen, Daniels, Vespa, & Moshe, 2012). However, the majority of scientific studies prove that numerous problems concerning relationships disorders in couples may be resolved by means of the couple counseling (Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009; Gottman & Silver, 2015; Skovholt & Jennings, 2013).
Furthermore, couple counseling addresses any kind of relationships relating dating, engagement, and marriage. Although couples are unique but the majority of problems are similar. Sexual issues, money problems, children and parenting issues, in-law difficulties, misunderstanding, and communication disorders are common issues. In addition, adultery and cheating, balancing work and home, jealousy, differences in interests, values, and goals, and concerns about sound relations all bring couples into counseling.
Licensed therapists, psychologists, and social workers generally provide couple counseling, particularly focusing on couples’ relationship. The counseling suggests people numerous opportunities to solve problems and change the situations that hinder happy relationships development. Furthermore, it provides a supportive environment for couples to determine, communicate, and interpret bothering feelings, issues, and behaviors as well as facilitate positive changes and understanding. Qualified counselors can provide coaching, instructions, and professional feedback to help individuals develop new skills to improve their relationships. However, analyzing the scientific studies, it is evident that a minority of couples address to couple counseling.
According to Gottman and Silver (2015), less than 5% of couples being on the edge to divorce seek marriage counseling. Thus, most couples are not sure of what to expect from the practice of couple counseling. In addition, they do not know how to behave and what expectations counselors will provide for them. Therefore, the paper will address a gap in existing knowledge to examine all the peculiarities concerning the couple counseling and received results in this sphere. Particularly, it will interpret the notion of the couple counseling in the social and psychological spheres, analyze its advantages and fails, show current statistics and best practices of counselors, and provide useful recommendations how to use and provide the practice of counseling to the couples’ advantages.
In addition, the paper will have a practical value addressed to the couples that are experiencing marital difficulties. The majority of modern psychologists consider couple counseling a progressive method to improve couples’ relationship and communication, facilitate family life, and provide happier future. Therefore, the paper will aim at encouraging partners to consider counseling as an efficient method to analyze available perspectives and get skills to improve the quality of the life with beloved person, overcome crisis, and save relationships.
Finally, the findings from this study may be useful while determining couples’ choice of counselors, particularly among licensed therapists, psychologists, and social workers. Thus, social work is an older profession that has a higher level of trust and esteem in the society. Therefore, social workers can conduct an efficient practice with couples and families that experience difficulties and distress. Furthermore, they can suggest couples certain coping strategies and provide education to address specific emotions and feelings with the aim of forgetting about divorce as a way out and striving to the reconciliation. Thus, the paper will analyze the following research questions.
The paper will examine quantitative and qualitative research questions. Firstly, do the statistics and current researches prove that counseling improve the couples’ relationships?
According to Babcock, Gottman, Ryan, & Gottman (2013), few researches analyze the couples’ behavior and relations during the first year after the counseling. However, they indicate that couples are more likely to retain the practice and skills that they got while counseling and maintain higher levels of couples’ relationships in that first year (Babcock, Gottman, Ryan, & Gottman, 2013). Meanwhile, long-term studies prove that relapse after the counseling is a major reason of occurring divorces (Babcock, Gottman, Ryan, & Gottman, 2013). According to Gottman and Silver (2015), twenty-five percent of couples in the period of two years after finishing counseling experienced the deterioration of relationships. Furthermore, thirty-eight percent of couple after four years of ending counseling were divorced (Gottman and Silver, 2015). Therefore, the variable concerning couples’ experience of the provided counseling will help to expand the research question.
Secondly, what are the benefits of couple counseling? Couple counseling is beneficial for any kind of relationship, regardless of partners are old, young, dating, engaged or married, straight, gay, or mixed-race (Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009). Thus, couples have an opportunity to analyze their worries, find gaps, improve their life, and be sure that their relations are sound and satisfy both parties. For example, an engaged couple may find premarital counseling a useful opportunity to address common expectations prior to getting married. Another couple may discover couples counseling an effective way to regain romance in their relationships. Furthermore, couples therapy may solve current family problems, prevent an exacerbation of concerns, or simply provide a check-up for a happy couple that is facing a period of increased stress or transition. The research question will be analyzed addressing a variable of the best methods and couple counseling practices known in the social work and psychology.
Finally, why do most couples, which experience family difficulties, fail to get professional help? The majority of people are not aware of all benefits of couple counseling that can address a variety of relational and behavioral issues. They do not know how functional it can be at improving relationships that affect people’s well-being. Consequently, most couples address to counseling too late, particularly when their problems have gotten seriously bad. Furthermore, there is a lack of professionals, who provide effective counseling. According to the study of Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman (2009), 50% of professionals who are involved in couple counseling can be described as engaged, alive, and productive. Meanwhile, other 50% are characterized as distressed, challenged, and disengaged. In addition, Wolska (2011) states that it is difficult to find an experienced counselor with an effective approach to resolve couples’ problems. Therefore, the research question will be analyzed regarding the variables of a lack of the couples counseling promotion and professional counselors to address couples’ relations the best.
The outcomes of the couple counseling have been researched by the scholars Babcock, Gottman, Ryan, & Gottman (2009). The scientific publication titled “A Component Analysis of a Brief Psycho-Educational Couples’ Workshop: One-year Follow-up Results” reveals the sufficient findings to interpret and solve the researched problem. The scientists have conducted a survey in the form of experiment. Thus, the investigated couples within the experiment were assigned to the following conditions: conflict management, friendship enhancement, combined conflict management with friendship enhancement, and bibliotherapy (Babcock, Gottman, Ryan, & Gottman, 2009). Consequently, after the counseling intervention, the scientists have recorded an increase of marital satisfaction in couples and decrease of problems with relationships and destructive arguments. Therefore, the scientists prove that counseling have a positive effect on the couples’ relationships relying on the results of their experiment.
The report of Copen, Daniels, Vespa, & Moshe (2012), in the scope of the 2006–2010 U.S. National Survey of Family Growth, reveals statistics and the detailed analysis of the citizens’ marital status. The scientific report indicates trends and group differences in marital status focusing on first marriages. Furthermore, the report shows statistics concerning the divorce rate in the country. Therefore, it contains statistical data useful to prove that couple counseling is a necessary method nowadays to address marital problems and avoid divorces.
Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman (2009) have conducted a longitudinal study to analyze the cases when couples turn for assistance with the aim of improving their relationships. Thus, the participants of the study comprise “213 couples over the first 5 years of marriage” (Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009, p.18). According to the scientific analysis and results, “36% of couples were looking for some form of outside help during this period” (Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman, 2009, p.18). Furthermore, in most cases family difficulties resulted in increased usage of relationship books and couple counseling that turned to be important outlets for couples’ assistance. Finally, Doss, Rhoades, Stanley, & Markman (2009) concluded that the most common types of relationship intervention, particularly couple counseling, are understudied and underutilized.
The works of Gottman and Silver (2015) as well as Skovholt and Jennings (2013) contain the detailed information regarding the most beneficial practices and methods of couple counseling. Gottman and Silver (2015) have brought innovation in the study of marriage by using efficient scientific tools to investigate the habits of married couples and methods of intervention that are depicted in the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”. Furthermore, the scientists suggest their methods of couple counseling that are proved to be effective and reliable taking into considerations conducted questionnaires and effective exercises of Gottman. Meanwhile, the book of Skovholt and Jennings (2013) titled “Master Therapists: Exploring Expertise in Therapy and Counseling” contains extensive qualitative research on experienced counselors, who are considered the best in the sphere of couple counseling. Therefore, the reviewed books analyze leading specialists and their efficient approaches to provide couple counseling.
Małgorzata Wolska (2011) in her publication “Marital therapy/Couples Therapy: Indications and Contraindications” has analyzed the major peculiarities of couple counseling. The theoretical study of Wolska is based on the scientific literature and her experiences in conducting couple counseling. Therefore, she analyzes in details the process of counseling starting from the initial stage when counselor decides whether the intervention is possible finishing with the recommendations how to make counseling beneficial to couples. In addition, the scientific work is of great value for the research paper as it shows contraindications to couple counseling as well as its advantages and fails.
Babcock, J.C., Gottman, J.M., Ryan, K.D., & Gottman J.C. (2013). A component analysis of a brief psycho-educational couples’ workshop: one-year follow-up results. Journal of Family Therapy, 35(3), 252-280.
Copen, C.E., Daniels, K., Vespa, J., & Moshe, W.D. (2012). First marriages in the United States: Data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Report, 49, 1-22.
Doss, B.D, Rhoades, G.K., Stanley, S.M., & Markman, H.J. (2009). Marital therapy, retreats, and books: The who, what, when, and why of relationship help seeking. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 35(1), 18-29.
Gottman, J.M. & Silver, N. (2015). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York, NY: Random House.
Wolska, M. (2011). Marital therapy/Couples therapy: Indications and contraindications. Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, 3, 57–64.