Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is a research-based approach to help your relationship heal.

Primarily developed by Sue Johnson, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is based on research and has shown that it maintains stable results from therapy over time, meaning you and your partner can experience a lasting connection long after you’ve finished therapy.

I believe in this model because it views your relationship through a lens of attachment. What that comes down to is, you want to feel securely attached to your partner. You want to trust them and to feel validated by them. So when you’re hurting, it’s usually because you feel like they’re not there for you or really understanding you, or you’re worried about disappointing them.

Why I want you to know about EFT:

I am a certified EFT Therapist. What that means is I’ve been through a process of further trainings and additional supervision by an EFT supervisor. I completed an externship and the 5 required Core Skills trainings, which gave me an in-depth exploration into EFT and hands-on experience using EFT for a variety of issues. I continue peer consultation and supervision, even now as a certified EFT therapist, so you can be sure that you’re receiving effective, research-based treatment from a well-trained couples therapist.

What I appreciate about using Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is that it allows me to better understand your relationship pattern and to help you both recognize it, understand it, and create a new and improved pattern. In therapy, you may talk some about things going on in life, arguments you have, or other various situations you encounter. But what we come to explore is how in basically any situation, you and your partner have an underlying cycle that lays the foundation for your relationship.

The cycle develops over time based on how you perceive each other (when you’re seeking attachment and don’t feel close). You want your relationship to be safe and secure. But sometimes you may interpret something your partner says or does as hurtful. You may feel unheard, unwanted, or unloved. You each respond in different ways to these uncomfortable feelings.

There is a common pattern, what we refer to as the pursue-withdraw pattern. However, sometimes you both may pursue each other, or you both may withdraw. Here are the basics:

The pursuer:

The pursuer may come across as the one who criticizes, complains, maybe even attacks the other. The pursuer is typically the one getting louder when they’re upset because they don’t feel heard.

The withdrawer:

The withdrawer tends to try to defend themselves, and may even attack sometimes too. They usually end up shutting down and pulling away, feeling fearful of messing up.

One of the many reasons Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy works is because it has specific steps and stages that we walk through together.
1. We start with understanding your cycle and helping you each de-escalate, getting to a point where you can understand the underlying needs and emotions involved in the pattern. We explore how you respond emotionally when you’re upset, and what fear that may be coming from.
2. Then, we move to restructuring your cycle. We dig deeper into each partner’s needs and feelings- so you can begin to move from not only understanding your partner, but to also accepting them. You form a new, more secure bond with each other.
3. Once we’ve gotten through those stages, we spend a little bit of time helping you integrate the new information you have about your partner into your life and the various challenges you face together. Your relationship is repaired, and you are able to communicate more effectively and understand your partner in moments that might have previously caused significant distress.

EFT is effective for helping couples with a variety of issues. Some of the most researched issues using EFT include couples experiencing infidelity, infertility, and cases where one or both partners may have experienced trauma. My approach with EFT will help you and your partner work through the anger and frustration you’re experiencing to validate the hurt and insecurity you may feel. You will grow closer together, build trust, and communicate with more understanding and empathy.

Schedule your free consultation today, or learn more about the services I offer couples.

During your free consultation, we will talk about how therapy will help you improve your life and your relationship. We can discuss your needs and expectations for counseling, and how I can help you. If you’re interested, we can chat more about my approach with EFT to give you a better understanding of what to expect from sessions.