During psychotherapy, patient and therapist tend to spontaneously synchronize their vocal pitch, bodily movements, and even their physiological processes. In the present article, we consider how this pervasive phenomenon may shed new light on the therapeutic relationship– or alliance– and its role within psychotherapy. We first review clinical research on the alliance and the multidisciplinary area of interpersonal synchrony. We then integrate both literatures in the Interpersonal Synchrony (In-Sync) model of psychotherapy. According to the model, the alliance is grounded in the coupling of patient and therapist’s brains. Because brains do not interact directly, movement synchrony may help to establish inter-brain coupling. Inter-brain coupling may provide patient and therapist with access to another’s internal states, which facilitates common understanding and emotional sharing. Over time, these interpersonal exchanges may improve patients’ emotion-regulatory capacities and related therapeutic outcomes. We discuss the empirical assessment of interpersonal synchrony and review preliminary research on synchrony in psychotherapy. Finally, we summarize our main conclusions and consider the broader implications of viewing psychotherapy as the product of two interacting brains.
- Phd Defence – VeenstraSeptember 7, 2017Our lab member, Lotte Veenstra will be defending her Phd thesis on October 6, 2017, 11.45 am, at Aula, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Thesis Title: Taming Tempers: A situated motivational approach to anger management. Supervisors: Prof. Sander L. Koole, co-promotor: … Continue reading →
- NWO Grant for Replication StudiesAugust 1, 2017Dr. Karin Tanja-Dijkstra is awarded a grant from NWO for a replication project. She will replicate the influential research of Ulrich, Simons, Losito, Fiorito, Miles and Zelson (1991) into the stress-reducing effects of staying in a natural environment for people, … Continue reading →
- Prof. Koole Inaugural LectureAugust 1, 2017Prof. Sander Koole had his Inaugural address on May 12, 2017 at VU Amsterdam. Information on the lecture can be found below, Botox voor de ziel: Het belang van belichaamde emotieregulatie voor welzijn en gezondheid Onderdeel Faculteit der Gedrags- en Bewegingswetenschappen … Continue reading →