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:
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.
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.
Being caught in a relationship where your needs are not being met and where you don’t feel heard or understood, is debilitating. Now there is help in the form of Emotionally Focused Therapy. Couples who successfully complete the process of Emotionally Focused Therapy counseling can expect many of the following results:
- Improved communication
- Feeling supported and understood by their partners
- Finally being able to connect with each other again
- Understanding the types of cyclical, intense, heated, fights they get into and learning how to stop them, thereby allowing them to enjoy their relationship and begin to get closer
- Healing deep unresolved wounds together
A happy and healthy relationship affects all aspects of one’s life. So, depending on how your relationship problems are manifesting, you may experience some or many of the following as a result of a secure and happy relationship:
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
- Better and more frequent intimacy
- More confidence, decreased stress and more energy
- Improved performance at work
- Reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression and or PTSD
- Better physical health and wellbeing
- Feeling cherished by your partner and actually cherishing him/her in return
If you are parents, you will have the added benefit of knowing that you are becoming positive role models for your children, showing them what a healthy, loving, relationship looks like and in turn setting your kids up for success in their future relationships. But, the best part is your kids won’t feel caught in the middle not knowing what to do and feeling so helpless not knowing how to help.
Basically, the goal of EFT couples therapy is to assist you, as a couple, understand the old patterns that hijack your relationship and help you find new ways to alter those emotional and behavioral patterns together. This allows you to feel better understood and no longer feel emotionally out of control in your relationship. Once safe enough to understand your relationship patterns and how you got off track with each other, you will be further aided to create a deeper more meaningful level of connection where you will begin to build a bridge to each other’s hearts and compassionately face one another in new and healthier ways.
If you and your partner are experiencing the following problems, EFT is unlikely suited for you until these issues are resolved:
Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence
In cases where the couple has ongoing and current relationship violence or aggression, therapy may ill advised or may be seriously contraindicated, as this could pose a safety issue. In those cases, it may be best to seek individual therapy with a therapist trained to work with relationship aggression or to go to your local Domestic Violence Shelter. If this information is withheld, during the assessment phase and aggressive behavior occurs, therapy is contraindicated and will be terminated, for safety reasons. That said, if there has been aggressive behavior which occurred years ago, due to discovering an affair or due to a trauma, and the aggression has stopped, that may be a better indicator for a positive outcome with EFT.
If the affair has just been discovered, or is an old wound that goes way back, working on the relationship is very difficult when there is ongoing infidelity. Couples therapy can become extremely complicated and may stall if the affair continues during the therapy. This can result in a waste of time, money and energy because it does not make the process of therapy safe, for either one of you. If you or your partner are still maintaining outside relationships and are unwilling to stop, this creates an impasse that needs to be resolved prior to the start of therapy. EFT Therapy can be highly effective for many couples to heal from the trauma of infidelity, but when the primary relationship is not the focus, therapy may be ineffective.
Ongoing extreme substance abuse struggles
Serious substance abuse issues may exacerbate the couples therapy and the couples therapy may worsen the substance issues initially. Therefore, a thorough assessment may be warranted and if in excess, the therapy may be delayed until an appropriate time. More recent research shows that early trauma and or neglect from primary relationships may be at the root of many substance issues. When children don’t receive the love and connection so necessary to thrive, substances such as alcohol and drugs, become a replacement form of connection as children become adults. Attaching to substances is not a healthy lasting connection, but when partnering at a deeper level becomes safer and more stable the substance can then be replaced by a caring, loving attachment. If however, the substance continues to be the main focus of the therapy, it is best if the partner receive treatment focused on recover while doing the couples work. If they are not willing to seek help for recovery, EFT couple therapy will need to end.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
After heart replacement surgery, each person in this video struggled with depression and healing. That all changed when they got to know each other. Doctors were amazed by their recovery, one doctor noting that there isn’t much science to explain this, but it is explained in ‘Love Sense’ and we are more and more amazed by the ‘Power and Healing of Love’