Background: Marital conflicts can exacerbate anxiety, depression, and stress in couples and adversely affect their psychological well-being. The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of psychodrama and cognitive-behavioral therapy on the psychological well-being of women with marital conflicts.
Methods: This was a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest, follow-up study with a control group. The statistical population included all the married women with marital conflicts referring to the counseling departments of cultural centers in Isfahan Municipality in 2021. Sixty women were selected as the sample by cluster sampling method and randomly assigned to two experimental groups (cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodrama) and a control group (20 participants per group). The first experimental group underwent twelve 180-minute sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy, while the second experimental group received twelve 180-minute sessions of psychodrama. To collect data, Psychological Well-Being Scale was used. Data analysis was performed through repeated measures ANOVA.
Results: According to the results, these two methods affected the psychological well-being components of the women with marital conflicts (P<0.001). The mean±SD of psychological well-being in the post-test and follow-up stages was respectively 61.05±8.35 and 60.10±8.95 in the cognitive-behavioral therapy, and 46.15±5.87 and 45.00±5.17 in the control group. Moreover, the mean±SD of psychological well-being in the post-test and follow-up stages was respectively 65.80±7.54 and 64.67±8.22 in the psychodrama group. The results also revealed that the components of psychological well-being in the women with marital conflicts in the two experimental groups in the post-test and follow-up stages had a significant increase compared to those in the pre-test stage (P<0.001). The two methods were significantly different only in terms of the effects on environmental mastery (P<0.001). Psychodrama was found to be more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Conclusions: Psychodrama and cognitive-behavioral therapy can result in positive outcomes, such as improving psychological well-being in couples therapy and marital relationships. Therefore, the use of these two interventions could be recommended to psychotherapists for improving the psychological well-being of women with marital conflicts.