Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Atkinson, Brent

  • Jason NicolEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_727


Brent J. Atkinson, Ph.D. (1956–).


Brent Atkinson is the principle architect of the Pragmatic/Experiential Method for Improving Relationships (also called the PEX Method), an approach that translates findings from neurobiology and the science of intimate relationships into practical methods for improving relationships. His pioneering work is detailed in the books Emotional Intelligence in Couples Therapy and Developing Habits for Relationship Success, has appeared in leading professional journals, and has been featured in outlets such as the Oprah Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Psychotherapy Networker. He is known for his ability to present complex scientific ideas in compelling and easy-to-understand ways.


After completing a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University in 1985, Atkinson accepted a faculty position in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northern Illinois University (NIU) where he spent the next 27 years. He served as...

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  1. Atkinson, B. (2005). Emotional intelligence in couples therapy: Advances from neurobiology and the science of intimate relationships. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson, B. (2013). Mindfulness training and the cultivation of secure, satisfying couple relationships. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 2(2), 73–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atkinson, B. (2016). Developing habits for relationship success (version 4.6). Geneva, IL: The Couples Research Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Atkinson, B., Heath, A., & Chenail, R. (1991). Qualitative research and the legitimization of knowledge. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 17(2), 161–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkinson, B., Atkinson, L., Kutz, P., Lata, J., Szekely, J., Weiss, P., & Wittmann Lata, K. (2005). Rewiring neural states in couples therapy: Advances from affective neuroscience. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 24(3), 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Couples Research InstituteGenevaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Corinne Datchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Seton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA