Couple-based interventions for PTSD among military veterans: An empirical review

Jordan Kugler, Felicia J. Andresen, Ron C. Bean, Rebecca K. Blais

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a commonly sought mental health service among military service members and veterans (SM/Vs). Such treatment is typically individually-based, despite many SM/Vs reporting a desire for greater partner involvement in treatment. This review examined couple-based treatments for PTSD among SM/Vs and their romantic partners. Method: A database search conducted in July, 2018 yielded 167 studies, of which 16 (10%) met inclusion criteria. Brief intervention summaries, effect sizes, and distress change scores (where applicable) are reported. Results: The 16 studies tested 7 interventions, which showed a reduction in self-rated and clinician-rated PTSD symptoms with large effect sizes observed in most studies. Relationship outcomes also improved for SM/Vs and their partners, with effect sizes ranging from small-to-medium for SM/Vs and small-to-large for partners. Conclusions: Couple-based interventions show success in reducing PTSD symptoms and improving relationship outcomes, offering several alternatives to individual-based interventions among partnered SM/Vs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1755
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • couple therapy
  • marital therapy
  • military veterans
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • relationship adjustment
  • relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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