An international research on couples therapy seeks volunteers in San José, Costa Rica. This is the most important study of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world and is led by the E(f)FECTS project of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra, in collaboration with Brigham Young University in the USA.
Specifically, they are looking for couples between the ages of 25 and 70, living together at the same address for at least a year and who want their relationship to work better. It is required that they have Spanish as one of their native languages, and have internet access. The details to participate can be found on the project website, www.effects.es.
The objective is to validate for the first time in Spanish-speaking countries Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT). Martiño Rodríguez, principal investigator of the ICS E(f)FECTS project, highlights the great empirical support of the model. “Clinical trials conducted in the US and Canada have reported significant rates of improvement in 75% of cases,” he says. As highlighted, the EFT is based on the theory of adult attachment and helps the couple feel secure in the relationship and strengthen ties.
20 free sessions of couples therapy or psychoeducational course “Hold me tight”
Martiño Rodríguez details that the couples will be randomly distributed into two groups. One of them will be able to attend 20 free therapy sessions, weekly. The other group will participate in a day and a half training, with conferences and activities to improve their relationship.
It is called “Hug me tight” and consists of a course taught by psychologists, psychotherapists and experts in the couple relationship. It will be completely free for volunteers. In both groups, volunteers will be required to complete questionnaires at different points in the process, for which they will be paid.
The E(f)FECTS project is being developed in five countries: Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina and Costa Rica. Twenty therapists and 10 supervisors from 11 different nations participate, with the support of a research team made up of professors and researchers from five universities located in Spain, Canada and the USA.