An Investigation of Therapeutic Rapport Through Prosody in Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Carolina De Pasquale, Charlie Cullen, Brian Vaughan


Therapeutic alliance, a concept closely related to rapport, is one of the most important variables in psychotherapy. High degrees of synchrony/coordination in the therapeutic session are considered to contribute to rapport, and have received attention in the psychotherapy literature.

Coordinative behaviours are observable in speech, and they manifest in phenomena such as prosodic accommodation, a dynamic phenomenon closely related to conversational success.

A preliminary investigation of interpersonal prosodic dynamics in psychotherapy was performed on a database obtained in collaboration with the University of Padua, consisting of 16 recordings making up the entire course of a brief psychodynamic psychotherapy intervention for a 25 year old female volunteer and a 41 years old male psychotherapist.

The data was analysed with Time Aligned Moving Averages, a method commonly used in interpersonal speech research. Issues of data sparsity are discussed, and preliminary results on the relationship between empathy and anxiety with interpersonal speech dynamics are presented.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2551

Cite as: Pasquale, C.D., Cullen, C., Vaughan, B. (2019) An Investigation of Therapeutic Rapport Through Prosody in Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3043-3047, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2551.


@inproceedings{Pasquale2019,
  author={Carolina De Pasquale and Charlie Cullen and Brian Vaughan},
  title={{An Investigation of Therapeutic Rapport Through Prosody in Brief Psychodynamic Psychotherapy}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3043--3047},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2551},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2551}
}