How we help couples – Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) was developed beginning in the 1980’s to provide a road map to relationship repair and recovery. EFT is well-researched and empirically supported, proving to have long lasting and meaningful results.
We aren’t getting along at all! How can you help us?
At the root of EFT is the understanding that every couple gets into a negative cycle or repeating pattern when they are distressed.
It’s like a bad play – you want to change your response, but can’t because your partner just read the same bad line.
Your partner then reacts to you in a way that furthers disconnection- and you both are left stuck in a cycle that leaves you feeling more alone in your relationship.
There is no good guy/gal or bad guy/gal- it is about what happens between you that blocks closeness, connection and communication. As long as your needs are not being met in your relationship- the anger, hurt, resentment and disconnection grows.
We want to help you be able to slow down and not get stuck having the same conversation you do at home that leads to unresolved conflict time and time again.
What does Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy look like?
EFT happens in three stages.
Stage 1 – You will to begin to describe and deeply understand your negative cycle. You will start to practice reaching to each other in new ways that create closeness.
Stage 2 – You will heal from hurts and experience a new, deeply satisfying and secure bond.
Stage 3 – From this security, you can revisit old issues and work through them with confidence. Your intimacy grows even deeper.
We want to know how each of you understands what’s not working and how it feels to be in the relationship.
We also want to know your hopes and dreams. When you think about your relationship, what do you want to be feeling and experiencing? We will set goals for how you want to feel and what you want to change in this relationship.
Like most couples, we will probably discover that you have a negative cycle, repeatedly creating distance and conflict. We will help you work together to slow down and talk about what’s going on when you feel triggered, rather than escalate and react. With awareness, there is power- once you name it, you can then begin to change it.
We will also be listening for your underlying desires for love, connection, and feeling valued, which are most likely covered up by the negative cycle. Chances are, when you are caught in your cycle, your partner can’t hear what you are truly asking for or needing. The same is probably true for your partner.
We will help you bring those loving messages to the surface and begin to share them.
This is like the main course of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.
By recognize and sharing your experience as well as your partners, understanding and empathy increases for one another.
Softer and more vulnerable feelings emerge that are so much easier to hear and respond to. Most of us have feelings way down deep about ourselves and the fears and dreams we have in our most important relationships. This might sound like:
- “I want you to love me for who I am, warts and all.”
- “I want to be enough for you.”
- “I want to know that we will be OK, that I won’t lose you.”
- “I want to know I can tell you anything, and that you will respond and not reject me.”
- “I want to know that I make you happy.”
- “I need to know that if I am scared or hurting, you will come to me.”
Sharing these underlying needs with your partner from this new, loving and de-escalated place will create deep and lasting change in your relationship.
You are then well on your way to creating new, positive cycles of closeness, compassion, love, trust and support.
Once you have found and solidified this new, close and secure way of being with one another, problems you used to have will feel much easier to solve.
Many couples struggle around topics like:
- Work/Life Balance
- Household Responsibilities
In your new, strong and secure relationship, you will be able to tackle these hot-button topics so much easier. Now that you know your negative cycle, you will be able to spot it coming and know exactly what to do to repair and then help each other through each difficult conversation.
How long will EFT take?
EFT is meant to be a short-term model of couples therapy. However, you and your relationship are unique. We look to a few different areas to help a couple gauge how long EFT might take you:
- How comfortable and able are you to set aside time to talk about your relationship outside of therapy?
- Do you find you can slow yourselves down, de-escalate, take brief time-outs, and resume talking more productively? Or, is that hard for you to do as a couple?
- How much damage has been done in this relationship?
- What were your experiences in important relationships growing up? Do you generally feel safe with people and reach out, or have you been hurt and have your guard up?
- How aware are you of your thoughts, feelings and body sensations? How are you at describing those to your partner?
At Thrive, we are committed to meeting you exactly where you are in your relationship right now and helping you to grow and meet your goals. Some couples have big challenges to work through, and that’s OK. Other couples can hit the ground running and beg us for homework and extra credit reading. Either way, we want to help you Thrive together.
Afraid it’s over? Don’t know how to get the love you want? We can help!
Even though you may feel very discouraged, we will hold hope for you that you can heal and find new ways to communicate to your partner. We know you never want to be back in this spot, sitting on this couch in this way again.
We sometimes have couples say to us things like:
- “I never thought we could have this kind of closeness.”
- “We were on the brink of losing our relationship, and now look at us!”
- “I had no idea he/she was feeling that way. I wish I could rewind the clock and have a chance at this happiness so much sooner.”
We want you to have this happiness in your relationship, starting today. Call us today at 303-513-8975 to learn more or schedule online now. Schedule Appointment