Interpersonal Biofeedback Research Project; Two Evidenced Based Therapies in One

  • March 19, 2010 · 7:30 PM
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Steven C. Kassel, MFT, BCIAc, BCIA-EEG will present on a ground-breaking original research study. In his words: “This study examines the additive therapeutic effect of two existing evidence-based techniques: marital therapy and biofeedback. We are studying the benefits of using interpersonal biofeedback as an additional modality to traditional marital therapy. Specifically, the effects on marital satisfaction and psychophysiologic reactivity will be measured. We will be monitoring and giving feedback to each partner about their physiology and teaching them how to control reactivity in order to remain calmer when discussing emotionally charged subjects with their partner. Physiologic parameters such as breathing, heart rate, sweat gland activity and hand temperature will be monitored with specialized equipment, as well as audio and video monitoring of the couple during the study sessions. The therapist will have the ability to stop and replay recordings in order to demonstrate changes in physiology to the couples. The study hypothesizes that study subjects will be able to learn to modify their physiologic reactions and thereby improve communications with their intimate partner. The aim of this study is one of directed therapy, to focus on the process of how couples talk to one another and how to better resolve conflicts, rather than to simply talk about burning issues in the relationship. More info at
http://www.bmedreport.... So what does learning to control physiology have to do with brain, cognition and consciousness? “Descarte’s Error”, a wonderful book by Antonio Damasio, describes the mistake of a duelist view of separating mind from body and rationality from emotion. By learning how to control heart rate or hand temperature, one gains mastery of breaking the sympathetic nervous system (parasympathetic arousal) which affects emotional reactivity, the goal of any cognitive behavioral therapy. With nervous system and brain “tone down” from psychophysiological and conscious awareness practice, behaviors may change. It is desirable to positively change behaviors in couples who argue and experience dissatisfaction in their marriage. Any change in behavior inevitably affects changes in the mind which ultimately structurally changes the brain. We hope that this research will affect all these things. Future Interpersonal Biofeedback research may include EEG phase and coherence training of couples through EEG biofeedback of both brains. For now, this study will work with the peripheral physiology of heart rate, sweat gland arousal, hand temperature, respiration and heart rate variability, which is easier than working directly with feedback from the prefrontal cortex and amygdala.” Steven C. Kassel,MFT,BCIAc,BCIA-EEG is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is certified in biofeedback, neurofeedback and pain management. He has been practicing in Santa Clarita since 1985, helping patients with stress related medical disorders, pain and stress management, emotional trauma, Attention Deficit Disorder and a variety of issues treated with psychotherapy. He is past president of the Biofeedback Society of California, and was featured in the BBC science program “Natural Mystery”.
http://www.kassel.us/... Couples interested in possibly volunteering for this research project are especially encouraged to attend. Remember, there is no charge, nor compensation for these 10 sessions, and Mr. Kassel expects that this experience should be of benefit to participants. This presentation may also be of interest to other therapists. If any of you know any couples who may be interested in participating in the study, please do invite them to attend. Meetup format: 7:30pm Introduction and announcements by Volee 7:45 - 8:30 Steven Kassel will present 8:30 - 9:00 Q&A/Discussion 9:00 - 9:15 Clean up. 9:30pm Optional social gathering at P.F. Chang's An optional social hour is scheduled at 9:30pm with our presenter Steven Kassel, following our meetup, one mile away in the Beverly Center: P.F. Chang's Restaurant 121 N. La Cienega Boulevard #117 Los Angeles, CA 90048 (310)[masked] Located in the Bottom floor of the Beverly Center.
http://www.pfchangs.c... This should be an enlightening experience for those interested in enhancing their relationships through psychophysiology.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great meeting and very informative. Thank you Steve for the research and work you do so we can benefit and live exceptional lives.

    March 20, 2010

  • Steve K.

    It went very well and the heckler who was expected to show, did not show. Audience had a lot of good questions.

    March 20, 2010

  • V

    This is a very interesting research project. I can really see how the couples exercises mixed into the biofeedback physiological readings can really help a couple gain interpersonal skills in tense situations and communications. I think it would be very rewarding for any couple who experience stress in their relationship to volunteer for this project.

    March 20, 2010

  • V

    An optional social hour is scheduled at 9:30pm with our presenter Steven Kassel, following our meetup, one mile away in the Beverly Center:

    P.F. Chang's Restaurant
    121 N. La Cienega Boulevard #117
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    (310)[masked]
    Located in the Bottom floor of the Beverly Center.

    http://www.pfchangs.com/Locations/LocationDetail.aspx?sid=4700

    March 18, 2010

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