Using Technology to Enhance Couples Counseling

Steven C. Kassel, MFT

Interpersonal biofeedback is the process by which patients learn to manage their physiology, such as heart rate, hand temperature, skin conductance, respiration, and muscle tension, in a relational context.

The Biofeedback Federation of Europe is pleased to sponsor an upcoming webinar presented by Los Angeles marriage and family therapist, Steven C. Kassel, who is a pioneer in the use of interpersonal biofeedback, a technique that helps couples learn to communicate in a healthier manner. Biofeedback is a process by which an individual can learn how to change physiological activity in order to improve their health and performance. Used in couples counseling, the technique allows a person to see the effect their words have on their partner, and vice versa.

As Mr. Kassel explains in an article he co-wrote with John LeMay in a recent issue of Biofeedback magazine, “Interpersonal biofeedback is the process by which patients learn to manage their physiology, such as heart rate, hand temperature, skin conductance, respiration, and muscle tension, in a relational context. With the help of biofeedback instruments, these specific measurements can be displayed on a computer screen, and software can rewind the audio and video of a recent negative or positive communication, allowing a couple to better understand their emotional and physiological reactivity, increase their ability to recover from stressful communications, and witness the physical and emotional effect of one anothers’ negative and positive communication styles.”

Asked about the benefits of biofeedback in a couples counseling practice, Mr. Kassel replied, “Physiological reactivity and emotional reactivity are part of the same mind and body…

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