Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
What is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy?
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is an effective attachment- based and experiential therapy that helps partners connect at a deep emotional level. First developed by Dr Sue Johnson, it focuses on accessing and healing emotions and strengthening relational bonds by facilitating new ways of talking and responding to significant others.
Couples learn to engage with each other with empathy and share vulnerabilities and begin to understand and resolve their conflict and distress. It explores and processes areas of conflict and of growth between a couple and can be beneficial to couples of all ages and stages of life.
How does it work?
The therapist aims to access, verbalise and process the emotions that drive each partner’s habitual responses and facilitate bonding conversations that redefine the relationship as safe and secure.
How can couple EFT therapy help us?
A couple might work with a therapist for a few focused months (around 6 months) or may require a longer period of time when there are more complex issues to resolve. Frequency of sessions is negotiable. The role of the couple therapist is to help find in each partner an authentic couple voice that is clearly heard by the other, in what can be a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Couples come for all sort of reasons, often related to changes which prevent them from remembering what at first drew the partners together. Life’s changes such as the impact of having a baby or infertility, a change of job or unemployment, retirement, bereavement and loss, trauma, ageing could be at the origin of relationships difficulties, with affairs and sexual difficulties or loss of desire as symptoms sometimes.
Sometimes when it feels too late to heal the hurt, or your relationship feels quite shaky, couple therapy can provide the much needed personal and relationship support. You can recover or discover what is missing from your relationship and work towards creating an emotionally and physically fulfilling relationship. Or you may need support to heal emotionally after a betrayal or separation.
What happens in the course of several sessions?
I am there to support you and take you right into the heart of your issues safely and warmly. My specialist training in EFT is there to support change in your relationship.
We first look together on the qualities currently available within your couple relationship, locating difficult issues, expressed for example, through repeated arguments, sexual difficulties, withdrawal of affection, parenting styles or unrealistic expectations of one another. Within these everyday life events, we identify the negative emotional cycle which prevents you from interacting in a positive way. We look at your personal history as well as the development of your relationship.
Within the safe space the therapist provides, the couple start perceiving each other differently, and appreciate the impact they have on each other. The couple starts feeling secure enough to open and share vulnerabilities that allow each other to hear and respond without feeling judged, angry, inadequate, criticised or blamed, resentful or unappreciated.
Partners learn to express and accept aspects of themselves and each other more freely and heal.
Everything discussed is strictly confidential. Sometimes where appropriate, the outcome can lead towards the realistic ending of a relationship. But frequently when couple interaction is tracked and re-experienced empathically within the consulting room, the acknowledging of what actually happens can enable a breathing space and inspire hope.