Biofeedback with couples

After interviewing Dr Bessel Van der Kolk on the Imago Think tank about the release of his new book, The Body Keeps the Score, I am interested in biofeedback and how it might work with couples. Bessel’s groundbreaking work with trauma integrates biofeedback to give clients control of their autonomic nervous system and in his new book Dr Van der Kolk notes how these clients can change their own neurology through biofeedback. I am wondering if couples can learn these techniques as well when they are triggered by one another. The Biofeedback Certification Alliance website lists an article about just this possibility. Scientific American published research D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro cognitive neuroscientist Jorge Moll, the lead researcher trains couples to feel empathy and compassion toward their partners when they are fighting.

Ranganatha Sitaram, a neuroscientist at the University of Florida says he is cautiously optimistic. “Certainly this could be useful clinically,” Sitaram says. “But outside of the lab the effects of these types of techniques are hoped for but still not established.”

I am looking into getting trained in biofeedback techniques to see for myself, and try it out with my own relationships as well.

Neurofeedback Increases Affection, Builds Empathy

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