The relationship between therapist interventions and couples' emotional injury resolution in emotion focused couples therapy

Ofra Kula, Reut Machluf, Eran Bar-Kalifa, Ben Shahar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The primary purported change process in emotion-focused couples therapy (EFT-C) occurs as therapists assist one partner to access and reveal vulnerable emotions and needs and promotes a subsequent compassionate responding from the other partner. This study aimed to examine the association between therapists' views regarding their interventions during a given session and the degree to which partners reported the session as helpful in resolving their unfinished business. Data from 22 couples who took part in the York Emotional Injury Project and received 10–12 EFT-C sessions were analyzed using multilevel models. The primary findings revealed that when therapists reported using interventions that promoted acceptance of feelings and needs in a given session, both partners reported higher resolution levels in relation to their partner. Our results suggest that interventions that facilitate responsiveness between partners are particularly important in EFT-C, and perhaps in couples therapy in general.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)726-737
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Keywords

  • emotion-focused therapy for couples
  • psychotherapy change processes
  • psychotherapy research
  • responsiveness

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