Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy: Key Towards Acceptance & Mindfulness

Last Update on February 8, 2023 : Published on February 8, 2023
Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

Per the title, integrative behavioral couple therapy is based on acceptance. The idea behind the development of integrative behavioral couple therapy based on the principles of acceptance came into the limelight when a therapist stated, “there are two sides to every story.” After some research and findings, everyone accepted this fact and directly this therapy type became the key point to solving conflicts between the couple.

Techniques of integrative behavioral couple therapy are based on communication and acceptance; acceptance is all about accepting each other as they are and communication is known to be the key to solving all problems.

Well, this therapy is not only limited to that, but it also includes the third side which is the take of a therapist. Whatever the therapist concludes from both sides becomes the third side based on all facts, stories, and truths.

Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy was developed in the late 1990s by Christensen and Jacobson. This therapy is the combination of techniques from behavioral couple therapy along with new strategies for cultivating acceptance on both sides.

Recently, it was proved through a study that integrative behavioral couple therapy is way more effective than traditional therapy as it helps the couple to gain a better mutual understanding of emotions.

Basics of Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

This therapy is basically designed to dissolve conflicts in a relationship or marriage. The best part I like about this therapy is that it does not resolve the problems on the basis of egregious actions or other abusive actions of partners; instead, it is based on emotional reactivity to such conflict-brining behaviors.

The main aim of this therapy is to focus on the emotional context and achieve high acceptance and bring back the aroma in the relationship. However, acceptance is still the main aim of this therapy.

According to the authors of the book Reconcilable Differences, “when acceptance comes first, it paves the way for change. When you and your partner experience greater acceptance from each other, your resistance to change often dissolves. You may be more open to adapting to each other and accommodating in ways that reduce conflict. You may be able to communicate more clearly and negotiate and problem-solve more effectively since you are no longer adversaries.”

This therapy is way too different from traditional ones. It basically helps a couple bring positive changes, communicate effectively, and always focus on solving problems. This therapy was specially developed to address conflicts and convert the relationship into a long-term relationship.

The developers of this therapy always focus on emotional acceptance instead of teaching the right way. They first try to bring acceptance and resolve conflicts slowly and mutually. This foundation helps in shaping and altering each other’s behavior with positivity.


Acceptance is the core focus of this therapy. Acceptance helps couples to be on a mutual point. Acceptance is the only measure that helps the couple to overcome the differences which eventually dissolves the conflicts. According to the developers of this therapy, the strategies used to establish acceptance are:

Empathic Union

The basic goal of this therapy is to establish acceptance by reducing negative behavior toward each other. In order to establish acceptance, the therapists ask the couple to express their pain without blaming anyone or making accusations. It helps them to realize their actions and establishes mutuality with the help of empathy.

Unified Detachment

The main goal is to dissolve the conflicts and reduce the frustrations towards each other. It can be established by identifying problems and observing them from a third-party perspective. During this process, the therapist tries to analyze the negative behavior which is the root cause of the problems in the relationship. In order to do this, the therapist talks about issues and problems in their relationship.


When the above techniques do not work, this technique comes next. The therapist tries to expand the tolerance level of both parties. Consecutively, it encourages the parties to spill out the truth and resolve the conflicts.


Mindfulness is the newly introduced approach in this therapy. Mindfulness is based on different religions and different philosophies. Mindfulness is all about being attentive and aware of the present without judgment. With the help of this approach, the therapist tries to maintain the relationship by introducing mindfulness.

This approach helps the couple fully accept each other with their flaws as well. Mindfulness is a great source when someone wants to improve their self-control. This approach is based on positive reinforcement.

Related Read: Mindful Dating: Feel the positive vibes

This therapy is a combination of behavioral couple therapy and acceptance. It helps establish mutuality and brings back the aroma. The only goal of this therapy is to bring back the intimacy, love, and respect in the relationship.

I hope this blog helps you to understand integrative behavioral couple therapy. Comment down and share your views on this therapy. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

More power to you.

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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