Does your relationship seem like a lot of work? Do you feel like you and your partner are in a vicious cycle that keeps you separate from the love and closeness that you desperately crave?
Over time, it is not uncommon for couples to get stuck in negative relationship patterns. What started out as a joyful and happy relationship with an understanding and compassionate partner can slowly become a distressing dance of complaints, criticism, emotional shutdown and mutual dissatisfaction. Partners who were once seen as our biggest supporters and the one we could safely count on can slowly become a painful source of disappointment. This can leave us feeling as though we are falling short, not good enough or not a priority. Fortunately, with Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), there is a proven way to turn your relationship around and get things back on the right track.
How effective is EFT?
EFT truly is a Big Freaking Deal! You may be skeptical if you have tried other couples’ therapies in the past, but EFT is different, it is not like other couples therapies. Emotionally Focused Therapy has been thoroughly researched over the past 30 years. The results are in and they are profound:
- 70 to 75-percent of couples who try EFT move from distress to recovery
- 90% of couples report improved relationship satisfaction.
- The dropout rate is incredibly low
Compare this to a 35-percent success rate for most traditional couples’ therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Most traditional therapies, other than EFT, focus on changing negative thoughts or behaviors. This is putting a band-aid on the problem. EFT works because it focuses on the source of the problem, our emotions. The simple truth is that negative emotions are at the root of negative thoughts and behaviors. So, focusing on the emotions helps couples get to the heart of the matter rather than trying to only treat the symptoms.
How does EFT work?
When couples seek therapy, it is often because they are stuck in a negative emotional dance that somehow took over their relationship and keeps them from the love, closeness, and safety they long for. Therapists like myself, trained in EFT, help couples to identify the steps involved in their negative dance, give them the tools to learn to place their feet differently and, ultimately, change the music.
EFT is based on the attachment theory of British psychologist, John Bowlby. Bowlby found that all human beings have an innate biological need to seek secure, loving attachment bonds with at least one other human being. This primal need is constant from the cradle to the grave and transfers from our primary caregivers to our intimate partners as we become adults.
Most couples argue because they feel disconnected and they sense that the secure, loving attachment bond that they had formed with their partner is being threatened.
When we feel threatened, our fight or flight response is automatically activated in our brains and we instinctively take very defensive positions to protect ourselves. This can look like criticism, blaming, threatening, emotional disengagement--or some combination of these. These defensive positions send a message to our partner that they don’t matter or that they are not important. But underneath those defensive positions are more tender, vulnerable attachment-based fears that are much harder for couples to talk about such as fears of rejection, abandonment, not being good enough or not being important.
What will EFT sessions be like?
An effective EFT therapist is skilled in uncovering the underlying music of a couple's relationship dance. They help couples dig beneath the outward expression of their anger or self-protective need to withdraw by following these three scientifically proven stages of EFT couples therapy:
Stage One: Couples learn to identify their negative cycle, step out of painful patterns, and de-escalate conflict so that they can both feel safe again.
Stage Two: Couples learn to reach for their partners in a way that helps them respond and come closer. In this stage, therapists help couples make sense of their feelings and express them in a way that pulls their partner toward them. This is also the stage where therapists help couples heal from attachment wounds, such as affairs or other betrayals of trust. Research demonstrates that EFT is successful in helping couples struggling with these kinds of injuries move into forgiveness and renewed trust.
Stage Three: Focuses on refining and enhancing practical skills learned so that couples can continue to handle differences well and successfully find their way out of their negative cycle when conflicts do arise. In this stage, therapists help couples to develop and deepen truly loving, safe, and secure bonds, which is the foundation for sustainable and healthier relationships.
Why EFT is a BFD
EFT will turn your relationship around and get things back on the right track through:
- Improved communication
- Increased feelings of support and understanding from your partner
- Deeper connections
- Understanding your negative cycle and how to stop it
- Healing from deep, unresolved wounds
INTERESTED? TRY EFT ASAP!
While I have experience in many proven methods of therapy, I am passionate about Emotionally Focused Therapy and have extensive training in this model. I am dedicated to helping individuals, couples and families change destructive patterns of behavior so that they can make the changes necessary to live more fulfilling and happier lives. If you are interested in learning more about EFT, please feel free to contact me for a free 15-30-minute consultation at 480-427-3553 or contact me here.