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fNIRS Hyperscanning of Right-brain Synchronization between Therapist-client in Sandplay Therapy

  • Journal of Symbols & Sandplay Therapy
  • Abbr : JSST
  • 2023, 14(1), pp.17-72
  • Publisher : Korean Society for Sandplay Therapy
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science > Counseling Psychology / Psychotherapy
  • Received : January 31, 2023
  • Accepted : April 26, 2023
  • Published : April 30, 2023

Jang, Mi Kyung 1 Allan N. Schore 2 Sehwa Lee 3 Lee, Yeoreum 4 김소명 5 권미라 6

1남서울대학교
2Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine
3전주기전대 사회복지상담과
4남서울대학교 아동복지학과
5동국대학교 대학원 상담코칭학과
6리본심리상담센터

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study investigated inter-right brain synchrony between therapist and client in Sandplay therapy, using hyperscanning technique based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). fNIRS is a non-intrusive method that measures changes in oxyhemoglobin the cerebral blood. A total of seven therapist-client pairs-i.e., 14 participants-wore fNIRS devices on their heads and engaged in two sessions of Sandplay therapy, with each session lasting for 30 minutes. The study observed synchronization in the right and left prefrontal cortices of both therapists and clients in all seven pairs, during every session. Interestingly enough, synchronization occurred not only while the pairs engaged in verbal communication about the completed sandpicture but also during the non-verbal process of clients' creating sandpictures. The outcome of the study hence suggests neurobiological fundamentals for the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client, which is also called the therapeutic resonance, relational mutual regression, therapeutic alliance, and mother-child unity.

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