Revolutionary film footage of a couple in distress and the affect of the ‘still face experiment’ on a partner compared to an infants lack of response from a mother. The classic still face experiment was initially done with a mother and their infant to show attachment reactions, but this video goes a step further to show how powerful disrupted attachment is on the partners. A must see.
EFT Work Book for Couples: The Two of Us
A workbook based on EFT methods to help build a sold foundation for connection.[/fusion_title][fusion_text]This hands on must read, resource helps couples begin the process of building a foundation of new ways of connecting together. While Hold Me Tight is an excellent primer for therapy, this workbook will help carry the couple throughout the therapeutic process to really integrate the experience of therapy and create more safety between sessions. Reading and doing the exercises in the book together, between sessions, helps each partner better understand themselves, their partner and their relationship, and the deep connective work they have done in the session. The reason I recommend this book so strongly is because I noticed that couples who integrate the workbook into their therapeutic process, build more safety and connection within their relationship and between sessions, progress through the therapeutic process more quickly. Oh and BTW, I have utilized the book within my own relationship and really enjoyed getting to know my husband and my patterns with him even more. Click here to order NOW!
Hold Me Tight by Dr. Susan Johnson
The ‘Demon Dialogues’ and ways to stop the cycle and pain. ‘Hold Me Tight’ by Dr. Susan Johnson is a must read for any couple embarking on the journey of reconnecting and rebuilding their primary relationship. It is my first recommended reading for any couple beginning couples therapy for several reasons. Number one, the book helps one understand the science and research behind EFT, because it is not some fly by night couples therapy approach, but has deep scientific roots. Second, Dr. Johnson lays out the dances couples become caught in found in the section entitled ‘Demon Dialogues’ which enables couples to see that they are not alone in their dances and can start to identify when they become caught so they can stop these demon dances. Third, the deeper core wounds or attachment injuries can and do occur as a result of the negative dances and she gives hope on how to help couples moving through the hurts. Using this book alone to change your relationship, especially when you have been caught in pain and disconnection for some time, can help but it is not enough. It will help to facilitate your process when combined with Emotionally Focused Therapy.
How long does EFT Couples Therapy last?
While there is no exact answer to this question, the research shows that Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has been demonstrated to help couples without histories of trauma, affairs, addictions, and aggression in as little as 15-22 sessions. This means that if you or your partner have a history of trauma, affairs, addictions, aggression (but not physical abuse), EFT may last longer than 15-22 sessions due to the relationship attachment injuries. It is important to note that outcome research for couples struggling with infidelity who seek EFT have reached higher levels of success than other forms of couple therapy, upwards of 70 to 90%. Combined with a caring, compassionate EFT therapist, the relationship can even become more connected than before.
An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples: The Two of Us by Veronica Kallos-Lilly and Jennifer Fitzgerald
As an Emotionally Focused Therapist who works with couples in distress, I have been recommending this book as an adjunct to the couples work since it’s arrival. I do this in order to reinforce the processes that occur during our emotionally focused therapy sessions. Couples who do utilize this book during our work together, consistently move more quickly through the process and feel more empowered between sessions. Not long ago, one of my clients queried me asking ‘Have you and your husband used the workbook?’ Realizing we hadn’t, we began working together on it Sunday afternoons using the working book during late lunches. It deepened my, and our, process in our relationship and helps me identify where my couples are in the workbook. The only recommendation or change I would make regarding this book is to call it something other than a ‘workbook’ such as ‘Bonding Resource’ because that is what it feels like. ‘Workbook’ doesn’t sound connective, and this book is.
Couples Counseling for Affairs
After helping many couples where there has been infidelity, one of the sure fire ways facilitate the early process of reconnection, is for the partner who had the affair to no longer be involved in anyway with the person they cheated with. I realize that sounds logical, but sadly, after many hours of therapy, time, energy and money, some partners continue their outside relationships, expecting things to change inside the marriage. This is not possible and is actually highly destructive.
What is happening here is that the person who became involved with someone else hasn’t unplugged from the affair partner, so plugging into their spouse or significant other doesn’t happen or is seriously impaired. Those who cheated may feel justified in the affair because of hurts sustained throughout the relationship. Therefore they believe they shouldn’t have to change their behavior, so they continue with the outside relationship, expecting their partner to make changes before they even consider giving their significant other a chance. Sadly, this spells disaster for the primary relationship and unfortunately it means very little success for the couple in couples therapy.
It can be very difficult to let go when we fall for someone outside our primary relationship, and may result in a period of grief and loss while letting go. Not letting go creates more agony for the significant other to be hurt again and again and again and may manifest in anger and frustration, causing the partner who left the relationship to be reluctant to reengage because of their partner’s anger. This becomes a negative cycle associated with infidelity and can be worked through with EFT for couples therapy, unless the outside partner is still in the picture. By maintaining the outside relationship and never giving the partner a chance when the partner really wants it to work and is making changes, this can be very painful for everyone and will ultimately doom the primary relationship.
When working on your relationship involving an affair, you can process the letting go of the outside relationship with the therapist and even the partner in therapy. Sharing what was lost for the one partner and processing the wounds of the violation with the one that cheated, creates openness and transparency. Without the outside relationship the couple can heal and build a deeper level of connection and safety.
Couples Therapy when there has been an affair
Couples therapy for infidelity or affairs is more effective if the partner who had the affair is no longer engaging in contact with the person they had the affair with. Many times this is hidden while the couple is in therapy and the therapy stalls for good reason. Please, do not believe that paying good money, time, energy you can build a bond with your partner if you are still cheating.
The EFT path for healing affairs
Click here for this beautiful presentation by Dr. Silvina Irwin, depicts the trials and struggles of a couple caught in the dance of pain involving an affair. Very moving, with depth and heart as presented by a skilled EFT clinician.
What is the difference between Neediness and sharing your Needs?
So the topic of expressing needs vs. being needy came up recently and I thought this was such an important issue that ‘needs’ to be more fully explored and understood. It is not easy letting your partner know your needs, especially when there have been very negative interactional cycles hijacking your relationship and not allowing for safety. We may fear being seen as ‘weak’ or ‘needy’ when it comes to letting our loved one know our needs, so we march on and believe in some way they should just know what we need and not have to tell them. Then again, this could fuel the negative pattern we are caught in because if they don’t know our needs, they won’t be able to be there. All too often we then end up feeling crushed because they aren’t there for us so we respond coldly or angrily, leaving them to wonder what has made us upset now, and further fueling the negative cycle.
Please be advised, asking to have our needs met works best when we are not caught in negative cycles with our partners. This is the first Stage of EFT, and sometimes the longest part and most challenging part of helping couples gradually reconnect. Staying out of negative cycles is not easy, but better yet, understanding them and helping each other understand and guide each other out of them, is what it is all about. To learn more about negative cycles, please go to the menu bar for ‘Couples Therapy’.
Securely attached individuals ask in a healthy way for their needs to be met in times of need, and expect them to be. This is not easy for those working toward earned secure attachment and still stuck in cycles. This may lead to questions such as: Are my needs legitimate? Can you really be there for me or will you let me down again? Will I get stung or rejected, or will you only sometimes meet my needs if I ask for them to be met? Will you outright neglect my needs? All of this is vulnerable and scary as it is unknown territory because we are taking a big risk putting ourselves out there and potentially being hurt, especially if we have been hurt in the past.
The article listed here, by my colleague, explores how ‘neediness vs. asking for our needs to be met’ provides further clarification. So next time you are hoping your partner will get your needs met without you having to ask and then feeling let down when it doesn’t happen, take a moments and ask yourself, ‘Did I let him/her know what I needed in a heathy way that gives them a chance to be there fore me?’
Oh and by the way, understanding attachment, the cornerstone of connection, can help us comprehend why sharing our needs and having them responded to is so important. Attachment, which starts out in infancy (please type ‘Attachment’ in the search bar of my website to learn more about this very important process) indicates that we are hard-wired to connect and that we are more likely to evolve and be fully ourselves when we experience the love and belonging of another. When our significant other isn’t there, or has let us down, it makes sense that we worry they won’t be there for us again in the future. However, once the negative patterns slow down between the two of you, it can become safer to request your needs in a healthy manner and have them be heard. That is, neither hinting sarcastically or overtly demanding, but being able to withstand a loving choice by our partner to not meet the need, is important for us to learn and experience as well.