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Vulnerable Emotional Expression In Emotion Focused Couples Therapy: Relating Interactional Processes To Outcome


  • This study was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Templeton Foundation Campaign for Forgiveness Research.


This study examined whether interactions characterized by high expression of emotional vulnerability in one partner followed by a highly supportive response style by the other partner predicted greater improvement on domains of forgiveness, unfinished business, trust, and relationship satisfaction in a sample of 32 couples presenting for Emotion Focused Couples Therapy with unresolved emotional injuries. For each outcome measure, two separate hierarchical regression models were tested (injured partner vulnerability and offending partner supportiveness; offending partner vulnerability and injured partner supportiveness). Both models significantly predicted improvement on the majority of outcome measures. Practice suggestions for working with emotionally injured couples are provided in light of the findings.