Grigg, D.N. (1995): Ecological assessment of the efficacy of individual and couples treatment formats of experiential systemic therapy for alcohol dependency. Dissertation Abstracts International, 55(8), 2279A

This study investigates the differential treatment efficacy of Experiential Systemic Therapy (ExST) with a comparison treatment called Supported Feedback Therapy (SFT) as it is applied to the problem of alcohol dependency. The inquiry also compares the treatment effectiveness of ExST when offered to the individual alcoholic (ExST-I) and when provided in couples therapy conjoint treatment (ExST-C). An ecological approach to assessment was developed for the investigation. Self-report questionnaires tapping an array of areas including indices of alcohol use, intrapersonal functioning, couples adjustment, and family characteristics were employed to measure treatment effects from the perspectives of father, mother, and eldest child. One hundred and fourteen families were randomly assigned to participating therapists and one of three treatment conditions including ExST-I, ExST-C, or SFT. Therapy was conducted at two out-patient clinics, one located in an urban setting and the other operating in a rural context. Data were collected from all participating families before and after treatment. Data were also gathered at a three month followup from participants in the ExST-I and ExST-C treatment conditions. The results of the mixed model multivariate analyses indicated that there were no significant differences between ExST and SFT evident at post-treatment; however, both treatments were found to have promoted highly significant improvements on measures of drinking behavior, intrapersonal symptomology, marital adjustment and family satisfaction. When ExST-I and ExST-C were compared, the results revealed no significant differences between the treatment formats although both parents reported highly significant post-treatment changes on all instruments.