The Effects of Gestalt-Centered Equine Facilitated Therapy on Marital Satisfaction in Relationships in Which One Member Is a Combat Veteran Suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Fall 2018


In this study, I investigated if Gestalt-based equine facilitated psychotherapy (EFT) increases marital satisfaction, as assessed by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), of two married couples in which one partner was a combat veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Using a single-case design, the couples' perceptions of adjustment were assessed weekly during a pretreatment phase, followed by the EFT treatment phase, and concluded with assessment during the posttreatment phase. Marital satisfaction was measured using the DAS through self-report over a 12-week period. Using visual inspection techniques, common in data analysis in single-case design, the researcher calculated the percentage of nonoverlapping data (PND), the percentage that exceeds the median data (PEM), and Tau-U. The PEM of the four participants was 80%, demonstrating positive effectiveness as a whole. Participants 1 and 4 reported 100% PND while Participants 2 and 3 reported a slightly lower yet still effective PND of 80%. Each individual participant's PEM score totaled 100%, indicating an effective treatment. The veterans, Participants 1 and 3, had a smaller effect size Tau-U scores of .27 and .36 while their spouses had larger Tau-U scores.


Chester Robinson

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences