The Effect of Proxy-Voice Intervention on Couple Softening in the Context of Enactments


therapy, proxy voice, intervention, softening


In this study we evaluated the effectiveness of proxy voice (therapist acting as client's “voice”) intervention, embedded within couple enactments, on client‐perceived softening. The primary research question was whether use of proxy voice would be more likely to bring about softening, or if its use was counterintuitive to enactment conceptualization and would elicit struggle behavior (e.g., withdrawal or negativity). Results indicate that proxy voice has a significant, positive association with softening and is inversely related to withdrawal or negativity. Preliminary findings suggest that proxy voice intervention embedded within a fluid, carefully delineated, and discriminating model of enactments effectively facilitates essential elements of couple interaction (expression of primary affect and articulation of self‐concept and attachment threats) while promoting self‐reliant couple interaction and increased softening.

Original Publication Citation

Seedall, R. B., & Butler, M. H. (2006). The effect of proxy voice intervention on couple softening in the context of enactments. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 32(4), 421-437.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Marital and Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor