Open Search
Open Navigation

"Soothing the Threatened Brain: Leveraging Contact Comfort with Emotionally Focused Therapy"

Alliant International University
Published 12/06/2013
2 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

A new EFT for Couples fMRI study was published, "Soothing the Threatened Brain: Leveraging Contact Comfort with Emotionally Focused Therapy". It demonstrates that EFT for couples changes basic brain processes around threats.  It also indicates that EFT seems to improve self-regulatory efficacy, which is a goal of many types of therapy.  Its believe this is the first time a relational therapy has been demonstrated to change brain regulatory processes.

Soothing the Threatened Brain: Leveraging Contact Comfort with Emotionally Focused Therapy

Susan M. Johnson, Melissa Burgess Moser, Lane Beckes, Andra Smith, Tracy Dalgleish, Rebecca Halchuk, Karen Hasselmo, Paul S. Greenman, Zul Merali, James A. Coan mail

Abstract

Social relationships are tightly linked to health and well-being. Recent work suggests that social relationships can even serve vital emotion regulation functions by minimizing threat-related neural activity. But relationship distress remains a significant public health problem in North America and elsewhere. A promising approach to helping couples both resolve relationship distress and nurture effective interpersonal functioning is Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (EFT), a manualized, empirically supported therapy that is strongly focused on repairing adult attachment bonds. We sought to examine a neural index of social emotion regulation as a potential mediator of the effects of EFT. Specifically, we examined the effectiveness of EFT for modifying the social regulation of neural threat responding using an fMRI-based handholding procedure. Results suggest that EFT altered the brain's representation of threat cues in the presence of a romantic partner. EFT-related changes during stranger handholding were also observed, but stranger effects were dependent upon self-reported relationship quality. EFT also appeared to increase threat-related brain activity in regions associated with self-regulation during the no-handholding condition. These findings provide a critical window into the regulatory mechanisms of close relationships in general and EFT in particular.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0079314).

 

 

You might also like

Back to Blog
Learn More
Alliant International University

What Is Clinical Psychopharmacology?

What Is Clinical Psychopharmacology? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average number of adults in the U.S. reporting...

Learn More
Alliant International University

PsyD Marital and Family Career Paths

PsyD Marital and Family Career Paths Choosing an area of specialization in psychology isn’t always easy, but Marriage and Family...

Learn More
Alliant International University

MFT Courses and Curriculum

What Courses Do You Have to Take When Doing an MFT Program? In early human development, the family plays a huge role in shaping a...

Anchor
pass led us here

Start on your path to impact today.