What Goes Wrong in Relationships?
Distressed couples get caught up in negative patterns, they describe what is happening to them rather than what they are feeling and needing from each other. They are often engaged in reactive anger and unable to listen to each others emotions. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) looks at what is taking place within the relationship, the repetitive behavior patterns that the couple has become stuck in and the unexpressed emotions and needs of each partner. It looks to identify what the behavior is really about: fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, and the longing for connection wired in all of us.
How EFT Can Help?
EFT teaches each partner how to be responsive to the needs of their partner by focusing on the underlying emotions and by identifying the repetitive, cyclic patterns in the relationship. The goal is for the couple to learn to work together to notice when their negative cycle is happening, step back from the ‘dance’ and begin to put new responses into place. It teaches couples how to talk to each other in new ways and create new ways of interacting.
A Short Term Method with Long term Results
EFT is a systemic and structured approach to couple and family therapy formulated in the 1980s by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. Grounded in attachment theory, this approach recognizes the primacy of emotion in organizing both inner experience and key interactional patterns in primary attachment relationships. Emotion is seen as a powerful agent of change in the therapy, not just as a manifestation of relationship distress. By expanding client’s emotional experience around core attachment needs and structuring change events to shift the cycle of negative interactions, as an EFT therapist I work to help partners and family members create a more secure bond in their relationship.