Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 102–114 | Cite as

Introducing Movement into Couple Therapy: Clients’ Expectations and Perceptions

  • Einat Shuper-EngelhardEmail author
  • Maya Vulcan
Original Paper


The integration of body-movement in couple therapy has gained increasing recognition in recent years. This study aimed at understanding the motivation and expectations of clients who have chosen to turn to Couple Psychotherapy through Movement and the extent to which they felt that these expectations were met in the process. Nine couples (n = 18 individuals) from a variety of backgrounds, religious affiliations, and countries of origin participated in 12 couple therapy sessions that included somatic and kinetic emphases. They were interviewed and responded to questionnaires both before and after the sessions. The findings indicated that the expectations of the participants related to a fuller expression of their difficulties and needs within the relationship through body-movement integrated therapy, and their perceptions of the process and its conclusion converged on three major themes: (a) the importance of introducing increased vitality, creativity, and playfulness into the relationship; (b) the need to learn a new mode of communication through the body; and (c) the contribution of bodily communication to the partners’ attainment of new insights about each other and their relationship. These findings highlight the role of the body in joint emotional experiences, suggesting that engaging in movement combined with verbal processing may enable partners to transform implicit bodily knowledge into conscious material in their relationship. The acquaintance with their own and their partners’ “somatic native tongue” will enhance the emotional dialogue between them, particularly in the context of ethnic and cultural diversity or different native tongues.


Couple therapy Cultural diversity Different native tongues Embodied relationship 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head Dance Movement Therapy Programme, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, Graduate School of Creative Art Therapies, Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research CenterUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Graduate School of Creative Art TherapiesKibbutzim College of EducationTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Head Dance Movement Therapy Programme, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Graduate School of Creative Art TherapiesKibbutzim College of EducationTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, Graduate School of Creative Art TherapiesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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