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Management of jealousy in couples

  • Michael Crowe
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Jealousy has traditionally been treated by offering medication, support, or various forms of individual psychotherapy or counselling. However, jealousy is usually a condition which has a profound effect on the sexual partner of the jealous person, and they may actually suffer more from the condition than the person him/herself. While accepting that medication and other individual approaches have their place in the management of jealousy, there seem to be several advantages in seeing the problem from the standpoint of the couple relationship. Firstly, couple therapy reduces the almost inevitable labelling of the jealous person as a psychiatric case. Secondly, one might argue a priori that any changes which take place as a result of two people changing their behaviour are likely to be more stable and long-lasting than if just one person changes. There is another consideration, namely that, since the relationship is bound to be affected by the jealousy, it will need attention regardless of the means used to treat the jealousy itself.

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References
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Crowe, M. & Ridley, J. (1986) The negotiated timetable: a new approach to marital conflicts involving male demands and female reluctance for sex. Sexual and Marital Therapy, 1, 157173.
Crowe, M. & Ridley, J. (1990) Therapy With Couples: A Behavioural Systems Approach to Marital and Sexual Problems. Oxford: Blackwell.
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de Silva, P. & Marks, M. (1994) Jealousy as a clinical problem: practical issues of assessment and treatment. Journal of Mental Health, 3, 195204.
Mullen, P. E. & Martin, J. (1994) Jealousy: a community study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 3543.
Selvini Palazzoli, M., Boscolo, L., Cecchin, G. et al (1978) Paradox and Counterparadox. New York: Jason Aronson.
Shepherd, M. (1961) Morbid jealousy: some clinical and social aspects of a psychiatric syndrome. Journal of Mental Science, 107, 687753.
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White, G. L. & Mullen, P. E. (1989) Jealousy: Theory, Research and Clinical Strategies. New York: Guilford.
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Management of jealousy in couples

  • Michael Crowe
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