Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Given the impact of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) on interpersonal connection (Maitland et al., 2017), researchers interested in FAP have increasingly shifted their focus to understanding the processes and moderates that influence feelings of connection and intimacy (e.g., Kanter et al., 2020). Given the theorized role of intimacy (Maitland, 2020) in the development of loneliness, and the prevalence of loneliness and social isolation in the era of COVID-19 (Kilgore et al., 2020), understanding how digital communication impacts feelings of closeness has become increasingly important. The current study utilizes an established protocol for generating feelings of closeness (Aaron et al., 1997) and compares individuals who engaged in the experiment in person to those that completed the experiment through video conferencing software. Primary findings explore the vulnerability, responsiveness, and feelings of connection reported by each participant. Secondary findings exploring the influence of moderators on the process or outcomes of the experiment will also be presented. Findings will be discussed in the context of social connection in the age of COVID-19 and informing telehealth.