Behaviour Change


Skills-based Treatment for Alexithymia: An Exploratory Case Series

Mataji Kennedya1 c1 and John Franklina2

a1 Macquarie University, Australia.

a2 Macquarie University, Australia.


This paper describes a skills-based intervention for the treatment of alexithymia. The intervention incorporates components to address the following three areas: the relationship between alexithymia and early life experiences, identifying feelings and expressing feelings. The efficacy of the intervention was explored using three individual case studies extending over 16–24 weekly 1-hour sessions. A number of questionnaires were administered at five time intervals. The results suggest that the treatment was effective in reducing alexithymia within the three individuals and in helping them to clarify, identify and describe their feelings. Following treatment the participants were less ambivalent about expressing their feelings and more attentive to their emotional states. The results were generally maintained at a 1-year follow-up for two of the three cases.


c1 Address for correspondence: Mataji Kennedy, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia.