Karvonen Anu, Project researcher

Karvonen Anu, Project researcher
Short number:
Viveca 275


Anu Karvonen received her A.B. and M.A. in Psychology from the University of Jyvaskyla, specializing in neuropsychology. She did her internship at the Department of Child Neurology at North Karelia Central Hospital, assessing preschool children’s neuropsychological developmental level. After graduation in 2011, she worked as a health center psychologist in Saarijarvi. During that time she assessed preschool children’s abilities, had counselling sessions with upper secondary school students and adults, and worked as an occupational health psychologist.

In 2013 she returned to University of Jyvaskyla to start her PhD in Relational mind in events of change in multiactor therapeutic dialogues research project (PI Prof. Jaakko Seikkula). The main research area of Karvonen is autonomic nervous system reactions in couple therapy. Her PhD focused on the sympathetic nervous system synchrony between clients and therapists during therapy sessions, as measured by electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate measures. She has become prominent in the field of interpersonal psychophysiology, teaching in Greece, Germany and Czech Republic and presenting her work in many national and international conferences. She has also been an invited speaker in the University of Oxford in Great Britain.

Currently Anu Karvonen works as a researcher in the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, Gerontology Research Center.

Press release of the PhD

Areas of Interest

Psychophysiology (especially electrodermal activity and heart rate measures), intersubjective research, couple therapy and psychotherapy, emotions and their regulation, embodiment, neuropsychology, brain research

Research areas

Autonomic nervous system reactions during couple therapy: especially EDA synchrony between the couple, co-therapists and client-therapist dyads in relation to therapeutic alliance and outcome of therapy. Changes in synchrony during the therapy process and stressful/relaxing moments of therapy. Emotions and autonomic nervous system reactions.

Recent publications (first author articles bolded)

  • Lampinen, E.*, Karolaakso*, T., Karvonen, A.*, Kaartinen, J., Kykyri, V. L., Seikkula, J., & Penttonen, M. (in press). Electrodermal activity, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and heart rate variability in a relationship enrichment program. Mindfulness. [Accepted for publication 18.9.2017] (*Shared first author)
  • Paananen, K., Vaununmaa, R., Holma, J., Karvonen, A., Kykyri, V-L., Tsatsishvili, V., Kaartinen, J., Penttonen, M., & Seikkula, J. (in press). Electrodermal activity in couple therapy for intimate partner violence, Contemporary Family Therapy. [Accepted for publication 8.9.2017]
  • Kykyri, V. L., Karvonen, A., Wahlström, J., Kaartinen, J., Penttonen, M., & Seikkula, J. (2017). Soft Prosody and Embodied Attunement in Therapeutic Interaction: A Multimethod Case Study of a Moment of Change. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 30, 211–234.
  • Päivinen, H., Holma, J., Karvonen, A., Kykyri, V. L., Tsatsishvili, V., Kaartinen, J., ... & Seikkula, J. (2016). Affective Arousal During Blaming in Couple Therapy: Combining Analyses of Verbal Discourse and Physiological Responses in Two Case Studies. Contemporary Family Therapy, 38(4), 373–384.
  • Karvonen, A., Kykyri, V. L., Kaartinen, J., Penttonen, M., & Seikkula, J. (2016). Sympathetic Nervous System Synchrony in Couple Therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 42, 369–563.
  • Itävuori, S., Korvela, E., Karvonen, A., Penttonen, M., Kaartinen, J., Kykyri, V. L., & Seikkula, J. (2015). The Significance of Silent Moments in Creating Words for the Not-Yet-Spoken Experiences in Threat of Divorce. Psychology6(11), 1360. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2015.611133
  • Seikkula, S.*, Karvonen, A.*, Kykyri, V. L., Kaartinen, J. & Penttonen, M. (2015). The Embodied Attunement of Therapists and a Couple within Dialogical Psychotherapy: An Introduction to the Relational Mind Research Project. Family Process, 54, 703–715. (*Shared first author)

Book chapters and trade journal articles

  • Huhtamäki, H.*, Lehtinen, R.*, Kykyri, V. L., Penttonen, M., Karvonen, A., Kaartinen, J., & Seikkula, J. (2017). Oivaltamisen hetket pariterapia-asiakkaiden jälkihaastatteluissa. Perheterapeutti.
  • Seikkula, J., Karvonen, A., & Kykyri, V-L. (2016). Ihmisen mieli on suhteissa ja kehossa : pariterapiakin on ruumiillista yhteistyötä. In M. Ylikangas (Ed.), Mielen salat (pp. 58-69). Helsinki, Finland: Gaudeamus, Suomen Akatemia.
  • Kykyri, Karvonen & Seikkula: ”Ihminen on perusolemukseltaan kehollinen – miten tämä näkyy pariterapiassa?” Perheterapeutti 1-2014

Teaching (list of courses)

PSYA120 Neuropsychology II, PSYS123 Neuropsychology IIIB, PSYA210 Bachelor’s Thesis supervision, PSYS210 Master's Thesis supervision