Thanks to the brilliance of George Faller and Dr. Lori Watson, EFT has moved into the physical intimacy realm. Now EFTers such as myself, who are trained by these knowledgeable therapists can help couples work through not only their emotional cycles but their sexual cycles as well. This can really help the couple become connected both sexually and emotionally.
Maybe you thought you needed a couples therapist and a sex therapist but they can now be one and the same. This article helps couples understand your different Physical Intimacy Attachment styles and how this can lead to cycles:
EFT Can be a Valuable Investment
A complete therapy process can be expensive, but divorce is far more costly, both emotionally, financially and in other ways. Divorce could cost you ten times as much as therapy–maybe more–and could uproot you, your spouse, and your children. If there’s even a small chance your relationship could survive whatever is currently impacting it, isn’t it worth it to make to learn more about how your relationship can change and improve?
EFT Couples Therapy and Why it Works!
After over 25 years of providing several different forms of couple therapy, there is clearly one that stands above the rest, with both the empirical research and results to prove it. Emotionally Focused Therapy stands head and shoulders above Cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT) in outcome studies and in my own experience working with couples. In the past, I provided CBT for several years with couples and individuals, but once I delved into EFT and became a Certified EFT Therapist, I knew which one worked for me and the couples I work with. There is a great deal of research to show that EFT works and works exceptionally well, with a 70-90% success rate!
EFT can change your relationship for the better. Fully 70-90% of distressed couples who complete EFT experience significant improvement in their relationship. Almost three-fourths can be classified as “recovered” by the end of treatment, having made gains so significant they no longer qualify as distressed.
EFT works even where other treatments fail
EFT has been shown to work well with couples in all social strata, couples with little formal education, and couples where the husband or withdrawn partner is rated by the wife or expressive partner, as “inexpressive” These three groups are historically the groups that don’t do well in other forms of couples therapy. If you think that your relationship (or your spouse) isn’t fit for traditional therapy, EFT may be just what you’re looking for.
EFT brings about Lasting change
Unlike in other forms of couples therapy where the positive effects of therapy begin to drop off almost immediately at the end of treatment, couples who fully complete the 3 stages and 9 steps of EFT maintain their gains–and even continue to improve on them–over the next 24 months ad beyond, without any additional treatment.
EFT can be challenged by some of the following:
If there is ongoing violence or partner aggression in your relationship, or if one partner is absolutely unwilling to even attempt emotional reconnection, EFT may take longer and in some cases may not be effective. No therapy works for everyone, but EFT is among the most effective available especially combined with a strong commitment to the process.
ways to ensure eft is effective
Attend therapy weekly. Read ‘Hold Me Tight’ or ‘Created for Connection’ and or do the ‘Two of Us’ workbook together. Explore substance issues and better understand how they are getting in the way of your recovery and your connection. Complete your homework in order to facilitate an understanding of the cycles that take down the relationship and create disconnection in order to create something better.
For more information on the scientific research supporting EFT, including sources for all of the statistics cited above, please visit the EFT supportive research menu.
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.
At last, you’ve made the decision to find the right couple therapist focused on helping you with your relationship, but now you are faced with where to turn and whom to turn to? Like most of us, you head to the internet, only to be bombarded by counselors, therapists, social-workers, psychologists, you name it, all claiming they all have the skills to help you with your relationship. This makes the process even more daunting, and once again, you are left with the thought who is best suited to help me with the most important relationship of my life?
The following are all paid sites, that means a therapist pays to be there and there are no other requisite skills other than having a license in the field of counseling or psychotherapy:
- The National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists
- Psychology Today
- All the postings with Ad in a square which indicates a paid ad. Again, these are posted by counselors who paid for an advertisement. This includes Google, and now under Google, other therapists are rating the therapist, even though they have never had counseling with that therapist.
So now what do you do and where do you go since these are not really helpful?
I seriously pondered the process couples face in their search for a relationship healer, and realized how much partners really do need help with this very challenging and vexing conundrum.
Not long ago, two couples in one week told me they had seen 6 different therapists before arriving on my doorstep. The fact that these couples, and many others have hit multiple walls when it comes to finding help for their relationship, broke my heart, because the matter of helping partners connect is not to be taken lightly, and in fact, is sacred. Entering into this process with a therapist of limited experience or training does not have a neutral effect, despite the fact these couples may be limping along together. It had taken a serious toll on their relationship and their ability to trust one another. After six different therapists, my job becomes vastly more complicated, because, in addition to the complex but powerful EFT map I utilize in helping them heal, they feel hopeless and helpless on what feels like and ‘endless journey’ when they arrive at my door after doing so much ineffective therapy.
On the positive side, I also realized that after seeing multiple therapists, there was an amazing bond between these partners, that even inadequate couple therapy couldn’t shake. That said, after numerous therapists, most partners are more than reluctant, feel war weary from the process and are financially depleted. This is the primary reason I am writing this blog, because it is my passion to help partners in distress and seeing multiple therapists for your relationship is tragic. Please know, I am not perfect and will post more in a future blog regarding the limits of couple therapy success. Don’t worry, many of the couples I work with make it and thrive because Emotionally Focused Therapy has a 70-90% successrate.
Keeping all of the preceding in mind, I thought I would do what I could to help partners find the best, most well suited therapist for their relationship. Here are some steps to follow when going to the internet in search of a healer for your wounded partnership, this includes what to do if you have the name of a therapist from a friend or other referral.
When googling ‘Couple Therapy in your area’, the listing will include organizations such as ‘Google’, ‘Psychology Today’, ‘Theravive’, ‘Thervo’ and ‘GoodTherapy’. Again, these are sites where multiple paying therapists are listed, some of which may indicate training in the field of couples, relationships, marriage etc., and some may not have specific training in couple and family therapy. Please look for certifications in the area of couple therapy on the therapists postings, such as ‘Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist’. Above all, please know this, the therapists listed on these sites ‘pay money’ to be on these listings, which means they may not actually have the training and experience you are looking for to help your relationship. Let’s face it, we all need to make a name for ourselves on the world wide web, but we also need to know what we are getting when we hire someone to help our disconnection.
AAMFT (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists) had been the only organization designated to support and regulate Marriage and Family Therapists across the country, but their standards have significantly dropped. If you go to the AAMFT page link here you will see one listing for MFTs posted adjacent to a ‘Psychology Today’ listing all on one page. Here are posting of all levels of therapists, some with training in couple and family and others listed with without training, yet they are members of AAMFT, again because they paid a fee. The point is, AAMFT was initially designed for MFTs, similar to the National Association of Social Workers who represents social workers, but AAMFT has opened its doors to all disciplines, regardless, and as long as new members pay their dues and support AAMFT, they are listed as being able to work with relationships. That’s because AAMFT, a national agency designated to further the profession of Marriage and Family Therapists is now focused on membership rather than the advancement and specialization in marriage and family therapy.
When doing your search, the next step is to focus on the couple therapist, or couple counselor’s credentials. Marriage and Family Therapists or MFTs have attended graduate school with the specific focus on relationships and family systems. Additionally, there are two prominent psychotherapy models in the field of couple and family therapy. 1) Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and 2) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I was initially trained in CBT over 25 years ago, and provided this approach to couples for many years. Sadly, CBT didn’t have nearly the success I have experienced with couples providing a pure ‘EFT’ approach, which the research bares out. EFT has a 70-90% success rate, which is why it is my modality of choice for helping partners connect at a deep and profound level. I have gone well beyond my grad school focus of Marriage, Family Therapy, to include an advanced certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy which took several years to obtain. This indicates a much more advanced skill set than simply taking some additional course work or and having attended several trainings.
In many ways, EFT has been pushed into the background, because it’s been around since the 80’s, wait, that means it has been a focus for 30 years with tons of research to back it up. While CBT is considered the granddaddy of couple therapy, it only began being utilized in the 60’s and not much has changed. The challenge is, CBT is supported by the old guard of most Universities and Departments at Grad Schools, where it hasn’t moved to open the doors to new, more effective therapeutic modalities, such as EFT. This means, CBT is what most American therapists are taught at most Universities and colleges. Conversely, EFT is flourishing around the globe and is close to replacing the old CBT model everywhere but the U.S. I am well am aware of many American graduate students who only know about EFT from Dr. Johnson’s books and journals, because they did a paper on it rather than an entire course focused on it, which is very unfortunate.
This old guard, who maintains the CBT approach in grad school, also affects the way insurance companies view therapy. Most insurance companies are more than happy to provide the names of individual therapists or therapists who provide CBT, which is only effective for the one partner, which in reality, doesn’t really help the relationship. An EFT therapist working with a couple can not only drastically help the primary relationship, but can help create a ripple effect by positively affecting the couple’s children and extended family members. When we are deeply connected, we can work through just about anything together, but when we aren’t, life can be so very challenging. We are meant to connect with our partner and not turn to our therapists for help and support in our marriage once EFT therapy is completed.
The gold standard search for a couple therapist, relationship therapist or marriage counselor is The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT linked here), because you can be assured, the Certified EFT Therapists in your area have undergone rigorous training needed to help you and your partner salvage and deepen your relationship. At this site you will also find the research to support the high effectiveness rate of EFT along with the parts of the world where EFT is thriving.
In addition, you may want to research the therapist you choose by doing an on line search on Google, or the search engine of our choice. If you do have a therapist in mind, type the prospective therapist’s name and credentials followed by ‘reviews’ or if you want to be very thorough, type ‘negative reviews’. If the reviews are negative, you may want to continue your search. Positive reviews can help narrow down the process of finding a good fit for you and your partner. If however, there are no positive or negative reviews, that is a cautionary sign, and I would recommend you continue your search.
Finding a therapist trained to help you with your relationship is one of the most important decisions of your life. Please make yourself and your relationship top priority by doing thorough research to ensure you are comfortable with the person you hire to restore your connection with your parter. Some couples give up after one therapist, a select few hang on to see six or more therapists, you don’t want to do either. Start the process of therapy by doing all you can to ensure the best possible fit for your relationship and do your research.
Awhile back, you discussed couple therapy with your partner, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen then. Turns out most couples come to therapy a good 6 years later then when it would have been ideal to start. But, because the negative cycles between you were so bad, you couldn’t even decide on someone together, and now ‘it is crunch time’. No pressure here, but it is important to know how divorce can affect your relationship and your future compared to effective, and by that I am referring to, Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples as one of the best, and well researched, couple therapy currently.
Nancy Michaels has written an eye-opening article entitled ‘Divorce = $1000,000 Love is Grand, but When It’s Gone, Divorce Can Cost More Than Twenty Grand’, In this article Nancy paints the picture for the average couple regarding the average costs of divorce, depending on your situation.
In another article by Frank Ginzburg, there are other financial costs to consider when comparing divorce to couple therapy:
- Splitting property, investments and income.
- Retirement accounts will need to be separated, which will likely incur fees.
- After divorce, you will probably need to obtain two separate medical benefits packages.
- child custody and visitation, as well as babysitting, may have financial implications.
- Legal fees can become a major factor in divorce. Legal fees can range in the tens of thousands or more.
- Compared to extensive EFT couple therapy with a certified EFT therapist, which can cost as little as a few thousand dollars.
- The same income you and your spouse receive now will need to support two separate households – making it unlikely that you and your spouse will be able to continue on in the level you have been accustomed to.
- Disagreements, complicated settlements and/or complicated custody decisions can cause legal fees to be become exorbitant.
- At times, one person, either by intention or obstinacy or even misunderstanding, can drive up the legal expenses for both partners considerably.
You do the math, because at the end of the day there is no comparison. Besides, returning to a loving, healed relationship with your partner and creating a space for your child or children to witness parents who can work through struggles and stay connected is worth it on so many levels.
- Couples struggling with one another by finding themselves in the same circular fights again and again.
- Partners who don’t know how to communicate their deeper feelings with one another and are stuck in anger or shut-down.
- Partners who are so frustrated with their relationship and yet, not sure what to do next.
- Recovery from affairs, when the third party is no longer in the picture.
- Significant others desperate to connect with each other but have no idea how to, which can lead to helplessness and failure because nothing they have tried has worked.
- Partners who are interested in deepening an already strong relationship.
- Couples considering married or a serious commitment but are plagued by difficulties, even though they know they love each other.
- Blended families, where parents experience difficulty coming together on parenting issues.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is designed for couples who are committed to trying to work things out, regardless of how much distress they are in. Please be advised, while EFT is highly effective for helping many couples struggling with disconnection, the relationship between EFT therapist and couple is essential so please unsure a good fit.
Success in couples counseling requires a commitment because the sessions are weekly in order to prevent the couples from falling back into their automatic, negative cycles. For this reason, if you are someone who has a difficult time following through with what you start, please let me know and we can explore together what gets in your way and find ways to help you stay committed to your relationship journey. If the sessions are spread out, progress may not only become slow, but may be halting. A substantial amount of research has been done to learn what makes EFT therapy work, just showing up weekly for therapy can make a big difference.
If you are ready to prioritize your relationship and take steps toward improving it, EFT couples counseling may be just what you need to help you connected to your partner.
It isn’t a secret anymore because Harvard researchers have studied men for over 75 years in a longitudinal research study to determine what creates healthy, happy lives. Turns out it is healthy, happy relationships. This really speaks to the need for effective EFT couples therapy if you relationship is in distress.