Being together in time: Body synchrony in couples’ psychotherapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative investigation examines how couples interpret the experience of being physically in tune and out of tune with their partner. Previous studies stress the importance of synchronized rhythm in relationships in adulthood but they do not explain how and why the non-verbal communication in which some couples engage is characterized by body synchrony and that of others, is not. Nine couples (n = 18) participated in 12 meetings of dance movement couples psychotherapy. All the sessions were documented by the therapists and the couples. Four main themes emerged from the movement experience: “the emotional language of rhythm”; “potential space for synchrony, play and intimacy”; “cycles of distance,” and “Physical changes alter rhythm matching.” In the discussion, I suggest that familiarity with the content the body communicates can prevent the use of primitive defenses in relations. The contribution of these insights to the clinic is extensively discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Autistic-contiguous position
  • Couple therapy
  • Dance movement therapy
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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