Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy

Bridging Emotion, Societal Context, and Couple Interaction

  • Carmen Knudson-Martin
  • Melissa A. Wells
  • Sarah K. Samman

Part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy book series (BRIEFSFAT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Carmen Knudson-Martin, Douglas Huenergardt
    Pages 1-13
  3. Jessica L. ChenFeng, Aimee Galick
    Pages 41-52
  4. Julie Estrella, Veronica P. Kuhn, Cassidy J. Freitas, Melissa A. Wells
    Pages 53-65
  5. Mayuri (Mia) Pandit, Jessica L. ChenFeng, Young Joo Kang
    Pages 67-78
  6. Melissa A. Wells, Veronica P. Kuhn
    Pages 107-119
  7. Carmen Knudson-Martin, Melissa A. Wells, Sarah K. Samman
    Pages 145-153

About this book


This path-breaking volume introduces Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy for clinical work with troubled couples. Practice-focused and engaging, it integrates real-world knowledge of the intersections of gender, culture, power, and identity in relationships with empirical findings on the neurobiology of attraction. Case examples detail the process of therapists in the moment as they develop both their clinical skills and their understanding of the social contexts fueling couples' difficulties. Applications of the method, which can be used with same-sex couples as well as heterosexual ones, are shown in addressing infidelity, tapping into partners' spirituality, and modeling and encouraging mutual respect and support.

Among the topics covered:

  • Undoing gendered power in heterosexual couple relationships.
  • Interpersonal neurobiology, couples, and the societal context.
  • How gender discourses hijack couple therapy—and how it can be avoided.
  • How SERT therapists develop interventions that address the larger context.
  • Building a circle of care in same-sex couple relationships.
  • Couple therapy with adult survivors of child abuse: gender, power, and trust.

Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy opens out practical new possibilities for marriage and family therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, and counselors seeking ideas for more meaningful couples work.


Couples Therapy Mutual Attunement Mutual Influence Shared Relational Responsibility Shared Vulnerability in Relationship Therapy Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy

Editors and affiliations

  • Carmen Knudson-Martin
    • 1
  • Melissa A. Wells
    • 2
  • Sarah K. Samman
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Education and CounselingLewis & Clark CollegePortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Family SciencesLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Counseling and Family SciencesLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information American Family Therapy Academy 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-13397-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-13398-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2196-5528
  • Series Online ISSN 2196-5536
  • Buy this book on publisher's site