This is a new video on how partners become stuck in the negative, interactional cycle where pursuers are a bit like badgers and withdrawers become more like turtles. A great way to learn about the negative interactional cycles where one pushes for contact and the other avoids connection.
When it comes to arguing couples tend to fall into certain patterns called the ‘Demon Dialogues‘ (click on the link to learn even more). EFT helps us identify where couples become stuck called ‘cycles’ or ‘patterns’. Once identified, it is helpful to understand how we get caught and then slow it down.
As we learn more about trauma from our childhood, recent science studies shows us trauma is passed down through the generations. This is important because safe, loving connections helps reduce the effects of trauma on our psyche and can be healed with EFT Couples Therapy. This article by Scientific American helps us better understand the impact trauma has on us, and on our future generations and how best to reduce it.
Not ‘What is Wrong with You?’ but ‘What Happened to You?” In this powerful and highly informative book written by Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah, who explore childhood trauma and how this trauma and PTSD, especially in the first 2 months of life, affects children and adults overtime. In this interview, they also share how to help reduce the impact of pain from early trauma with the comfort of a safe other.
During these more than uncertain times, when couples have the massive added stress of COVID-19, educating children from home, challenges with work while raising kids, it is more important than ever to have help with your relationship.
The divorce rate soared after the Wuhan COVID crisis slowed down as noted in this Bloomberg article here. The warning is that there will be similar cases across the country here. ‘Even when the epidemic abates and life can return to relative normalcy, the psychological and economic strains are expected to endure for months’. One of the best ways to counter this is with Emotionally Focused Therapy on-line at CHC. EFT has a success rate of 70-90% compared to other forms of couple therapy. Please go to the EFT pages on the website to learn more.
After providing in-person couples therapy for over 25 years, I have transitioned to Telehealth/Teletherapy format to continue to support the needs of my clients. As a result, I found it highly beneficial which has also been noted by the couples I currently see online. That said, I completed four on-line trainings as well as a Law and Ethics Telehealth training to ensure I am up to speed, which made a tremendous difference.
Give your relationship the care it needs during these very uncertain times and reach out to CHC for EFT today by calling 443-254-0686.
THE 9 STEPS TO A STRONGER, MORE SECURE, AND HAPPIER MARRIAGE
EFT couple therapy is divided into three stages. Steps 1 through 4 of Stage 1, constitute the “Assessment and Cycle De-escalation” stage. The second stage is “Changing the Interaction Patterns and Creating New Bonds” and consists of steps 5, 6, and 7. The final two steps make up a stage called “Consolidation and Integration.”
STAGE 1: ASSESSMENT AND CYCLE DE-ESCALATION
1. Assessment and Alliance: Assessment starts and continues throughout the process which includes a relationship history of each partner and their relationship history. It also includes Identifying primary issues of concern such as conflict issues and how these issues create core conflicts or blocks that serve to separate and disconnect the partners.
2. Identify negative interactional patterns in the relationship that occur on a day-to-day basis. This is done by working with EFT therapist to trace past patterns and map them out (unless infidelity is an issue).
3. The couple begins to recognize how behaviors are connected to surface or reactive emotions, that mask deeper emotions and how they impact each partner and create a negative interactional response. Deeper emotions that were previously not shared are touched upon in order for each partner to start to understand one another in a different way as safety is being built. This process helps to slow down the negative cycle.
4. With the help of the EFT therapist, partners are helped to reframe their behaviors in the negative cycle in order to realize, not only how they have been fueling the cycle, but that they are able to see how their reaches toward or away from one another are actually positive.
STAGE 2: CHANGING INTERACTIONAL POSITIONS AND CREATING NEW BONDING EVENTS
5. Partners are safely helped to share their deeper emotions and disowned attachment needs with the significant other in a ways that had been previously hidden from the partner and themselves. This stage of the therapy happens once the negative cycles have begun to remit and are replaced with more calm between the partners.
6. The listening partner is able to more empathically attune and accept the other partner’s deeper core emotions with compassion. There may be times when new emotions not previously heard may take the partner by surprise and require deeper and further processing.
7. The EFT therapist guides you to safely express your attachment needs and longings, including your fears, while feeling supported by the partner. The couple continues on the path working more deeply and listening with acceptance and empathy. This is about being ‘with’ each other as each is more accessible, responsive and engaged (ARE).
STAGE 3: CONSOLIDATION/ INTEGRATION
8. The couple continues to build on ways to apply new yet, deeply held emotions with the ability to be ‘with’ each other emotionally and empathically in order to process old problems and new areas of concern.
9. Consolidate new positions and cycles of emotional closeness and attachment by blending all the newly developing skills with the awareness of closeness and deeper bonds. The couple begins to work together by processing future plans and how connection can be different in the future. This is enhanced by celebrating each partners amazing efforts and the beautiful risks that have been taken.
Having working in the field of psychotherapy for 25 years, I am well aware of how early childhood adversity, abuse and neglect can affect our health and success later in life. Taking the A.C.E. Test can help you understand your score, but pay attention to the Resiliency Test that follows in this article linked here. Most traumatic events happen when we are alone in our pain or there is no one to protect us during or after the trauma, but at the end of this article you can read how, in the Resiliency Test, trauma can be ameliorated by connection with significant another who cares, protects or provides a safe place for the person who has been hurt. Remember, it’s all about creating healthy, loving connections. Here is another link on the A.C.E. provided by NPR with a recording to learn more. If your score is higher than 4, don’t fret when you listen or take the test, there is good news too. Read on.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris presents an informative video of the effects of A.C.E. on health as it relates to adrenal system and health. This is not just an economic issue, it affects people of all stratums and is not only treatable, but as she says, beatable.
One of the primary reasons and drivers for becoming an Certified Emotionally Focused therapist working with partners and parents who may have experienced adverse childhood events, was because I realized through the seminal work of Dr. Susan Johnson whose work is based Dr. John Bowlby, how powerful and healing EFT can be for survivors. Lovingly treated through Emotionally Focused Therapy with the significant other present during the process, healing can be transformative. The researchers of this early article found that ‘Half of the couples in this study reported clinically significant increases in mean relationship satisfaction and clinically significant decreases in trauma symptoms, and thematic analyses identified numerous areas where trauma survivors were challenged in fully engaging in the therapy process.’ WOW!!! So the good news here is nothing is more powerful, from my vantage point, and from what couples in healing and connection report to me, then helping partners deeply and lovingly connect, especially if one or both partners were exposed to early adverse childhood experiences. Help and healing comes in the form of Emotionally Focused Therapy for partners in distress which is a game changer.
Even the prominent mainstream magazine Health (October 2019) speaks to the effectiveness of Emotionally Focused Therapy when it comes to help for couples in distress.
What we thought we knew about addiction is not quite right as evidenced by the research indicated in this amazing video by Johann Hari, as he shares how imperative attachment is for recovery.
Here is another informative, yet brief video entitled ‘Rat Park’ to help you better understand the power of connection when it comes to recovery from addiction and what drives that.
Give a listen to Sam Tieleman’s presentation on Sexual Intimacy as it relates to addiction, in this case drinking, with a live couple who was willing to share their process to better understand what a couple therapy session sounds utilizing EFT.
Looking at attachment as it relates to addiction is a revolutionary concept that changes the way we see and treat addiction. On this link JimThomas, LMFT from Colorado shares his expertise regarding shame and recovery as it relates to healing from substances. If you want only his presentation, start at minute 14.
In this The Couch PodCast with Michael Barnett LCP from Atlanta, Michael shares his experience working with couples struggling with addiction by utilizing the power of Emotionally Focused Therapy compared to other forms of therapy in order to better help partners heal from substance issues.
We all become caught in negative cycles, the EFT tern for arguments, from time to time, but when couples first come to see me, they are caught in them more frequently then not. These negative cycles are more than toxic and can literally hijack the relationship, creating anger, distrust and disconnection.
This Youtube video by Sharon Mead LMFT is a lovely way to learn about the negative cycles that block couples from connection.