Therapist interventions and emotional processing in attachment-based family therapy for unresolved anger

Noa Tsvieli, Gary M. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A growing body of research suggests that emotional processing is a central and common change mechanism across various types of therapies (Diener & Hilsenroth, 2009; Foa, Huppert, & Cahill, 2006; Greenberg, 2010), including attachment-based family therapy (Diamond, Shahar, Sabo, & Tsvieli, 2016). The purpose of this study was to examine which therapist interventions facilitated productive emotional processing in a sample of 15 young adults receiving attachment-based family therapy (Diamond, Diamond, & Levy, 2014) for unresolved anger toward a parent, and which therapist interventions led to a discontinuation of productive emotional processing once it had begun. Therapist interventions and productive emotional processing were measured during the course of individual, alliance-building sessions with the young adult. Results indicate that young adults’ productive emotional processing occurred at a rate significantly greater than chance following therapists’ focus on vulnerable emotions, focus on attachment needs, and empty-chair interventions. In contrast, therapists’ focus on clients’ rejecting anger preceded the discontinuation of such processing at rates significantly greater than chance. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Emotional processing
  • Process research
  • Therapist interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapist interventions and emotional processing in attachment-based family therapy for unresolved anger'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this