Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for CouplesI
Are you feeling stuck? Would you like to feel closer to your partner? Do you keep having the same old fight, over and over again? Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) can help.
EFT as I practice it, is based on the work of Dr. Sue Johnson. Attachment theory is what it is all about. We humans are hard-wired to be attached and when our attachment security is threatened, then we react to protect ourselves in ways that can result in what we call a negative dance or cycle. This is why it may seem that you get into the same fight or the same stuckness over and over again. When we feel unloved, unimportant, not respected, not good enough, or some form of rejection, our attachment fears can easily get triggered. A tone of voice, a look, a word, may cause our brains to react quickly in a fight/flight/freeze response. Our partner then reacts to our reaction. The reactions feed on each other and we can end up trapped in a negative pattern of communication. It can feel awful to be disconnected from our partner and we may end up feeling alone, frustrated, angry, hurt, numb, hopeless, or sad.
Together we investigate how you get stuck and explore feelings and thoughts that may have been unclear or unspoken. I will help you have new conversations with each other in the safe space of my office and you will gain the skills to have successful communication, a closer connection, and ways to handle life's challenges together. Your bond will strengthen and your love will grow. When you feel the glow of your partner's love, you may feel more confident, relaxed, and happy. Life is full of new possibilities when we feel loved and accepted.
Therapy will consist of 3 stages.
1. We will discover the negative pattern of communication (called a dance, pattern, or cycle) that is causing distress and help you change this pattern so that you can effectively communicate and feel closer. At the end of this stage, you will be feeling happier and closer, but you will not yet have the skills to handle difficult topics and conflicts.
2. We will build more effective ways to communicate while strengthening the emotional connection between you.
You will learn how to reach for each other for support and reassurance when tricky moments come up.
You will become an effective team as well as a safe haven for each other. Your bond will strengthen and your love will grow.
3. You will be able to resolve conflicts and differences using your new ways of communicating.
We will develop strategies for maintaining success & closeness.
Ultimately, EFT strengthens the loving connection between partners, improves communication, increases well-being, and decreases symptoms of depression and anxiety caused by relationship distress. Therapy often also may result in an improved sexual relationship. Some couples become a more effective parenting team.
I highly recommend these books by Dr. Sue Johnson:
HOLD ME TIGHT
EFT has been found to be effective with heterosexual, gay, and lesbian couples, with couples of different ethnicities, races, religions, and backgrounds. EFT therapists are working all over the world, in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin American, and Asia. You can learn more about EFT from the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).
Call me to set up an appointment: (208) 892-1336
"Sometimes it's necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness, until it flowers again from within." Galway Kinnel
Susan Simonds, Ph.D.
814 South Washington Street
Moscow, ID 83843