The objectives of the introduction are the following:

  • To describe the purpose and structure of this therapeutic program
  • To provide an introduction to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • To provide an introduction to the use of CBT for addressing parenting and couple conflict

The purpose of this program is to provide a brief self-help therapy program for addressing parenting during couple conflict. This program uses principles of cognitive behavior therapy as the basis for each treatment session. You will be guided through a series of 8 sessions, each focused on a different aspect of treating parenting during couple conflict. This program works best for parents who have mild to moderate marital conflict problems and would like to protect their children from this conflict and continue providing healthy parenting. It is not intended to be used by parents with severe marital conflict problems (e.g., psychological abuse, physical violence, etc.). This program can be used by both married and unmarried parents.

The following is the course outline with what you can expect from each session:

During session 1, you will learn basic information about couple conflict and parenting. You will also identify your top interfering problems including the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are currently occurring. Finally, you will formulate the goals you would like to achieve by using the program.

During session 2, you will identify and explore your current unhealthy/problematic behaviors related to parenting and couple conflict. You will also learn about healthier behaviors that can be used to replace the unhealthy ones.

During session 3, you will identify and explore your current unhealthy/problematic emotions related to parenting and couple conflict.

During session 4, you will identify and explore your current unhealthy/problematic thoughts related to parenting and couple conflict.

During session 5, you will learn how to identify automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) related to your parenting and couple conflict. You will also learn how to challenge these ANTs and how this can help create healthier parenting practices.

During session 6, you will review what you’ve learned so far and use this to complete an activity plan for creating healthy parenting practices during times of couple conflict.

During session 7, you will learn about behavioral reinforcement and how to use it going forward to help manage your couple conflict and reinforce healthier parenting attitudes and behaviors going forward.

During session 8, you will review what you learned in the program, evaluate your progress using your original goals, and complete wrap-up activities for the program.

In the next section, we briefly introduce the concept and basic principles of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT.