Treating Infidelity: An Integrative Approach

Stephen T. Fife, Gerald R. Weeks, Nancy Gambescia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Infidelity is one of the most common and the most difficult problems to treat in couples therapy. In this article, the authors present an integrative approach to treating infidelity based on the intersystems approach developed by Weeks. The approach integrates theory and techniques from both individual and systemic psychotherapy and addresses the individual, relational, and intergenerational factors associated with infidelity. The treatment approach reflects the authors' view of infidelity as a systemic, intimacy-based problem. Treatment includes five interrelated phases: (a) crisis management and assessment, (b) systemic considerations, (c) facilitating forgiveness, (d) treating factors that contribute to infidelity, and (e) promoting intimacy through communication. Of particular importance is the development of unifying factors that facilitate healing, unite couples, and reduce their vulnerability to future betrayals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalThe Family Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • affair
  • couples therapy
  • infidelity
  • integration
  • systemic therapy


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