A1 Journal article (refereed)
Somatic Interventions and Depth of Experiencing in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (2022)

Kailanko, S., Wiebe, S. A., Tasca, G. A., & Laitila, A. A. (2022). Somatic Interventions and Depth of Experiencing in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. International Journal of Systemic Therapy, 33(2), 109-128. https://doi.org/10.1080/2692398x.2022.2041346

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKailanko, Sari; Wiebe, Stephanie A.; Tasca, Giorgio A.; Laitila, Aarno A.

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of Systemic Therapy



Publication year2022

Publication date18/03/2022


Issue number2

Pages range109-128


Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80378


Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), an attachment-based couple therapy, views emotion as being central to the process of therapeutic change. As affect arousal of emotion is a somatic reaction, the purpose of this study was to focus on therapists’ interventions classified as noting and commenting on clients’ somatic cue of emotional experience, such as their facial expression or posture, in relation to depth of emotional experiencing demonstrated by clients in EFT couple therapy sessions. The sample included 13 therapists, each treating one couple during a single EFT training demonstration session. We coded therapists’ interventions (i.e., commenting on one partner’s somatic cue of emotion). Immediately prior to and following such therapist interventions, we rated the partner’s depth of emotional experiencing. The results of multilevel modeling demonstrated a significant linear increase in terms of depth of partner’s experiencing throughout the session. Furthermore, partners demonstrated a significant immediate increase in the depth of experiencing following somatically focused interventions. These findings suggest that interventions focusing on somatic experience of emotion may facilitate deeper experiencing for clients in EFT sessions.

Keywordscouples therapyemotion-focused therapy for couplesemotionsexperiencingnonverbal communicationtherapistsfacilitationintervention

Free keywordsemotionally focused couple therapy; EFT; somatic; experiencing; intervention

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:26