Are you having communication problems? Has one of you been getting repeatedly angry or frustrated? Do you feel like getting away, even for a while? Do you sometimes feel alone, even in your relationship? Do you feel misunderstood? Do you feel as though you never get it right?
Most couples seek therapy because they tell me of repeated cycles of “communication problems." These cycles include anger and withdrawal.
My Approach - Emotionally Focused Therapy - EFT - How It Works
EFT differs from other couples therapies that are offered, for example those that teach communication skills. This therapy is based in attachment and bonding (similar to the attachment we felt and missed with our care-giving parents), and helps couples to build their relationship itself into a primary safe, secure, nurturing, comforting relationship, where we can get our needs met, and expand our sense of self.
Identify the Cycle and Change It
How this is done is by identifying our negative cycle and positions in this cycle, and accessing and expressing our underlying primary emotions and attachment needs. For example, most partners may experience anger or withdrawal, but may have difficulty experiencing and sharing vulnerability, fear, abandonment or being overwhelmed. These primary emotions drive our old cycle behaviors.
We will create an atmosphere of safety and trust with each other, share more vulnerably and practice listening empathetically to our partner. In time these new behaviors will be accepted and repeated, consolidated and integrated into your relationship.
90% Success Rate
EFT was formulated in the early 1980’s by Dr. Susan Johnson. It is backed by a substantial body (30 years) of empirical research of its effectiveness: 70-75% of the couples move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% show significant improvements. Dr. Susan Johnson’s book about this model of therapy written for couples is Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.)
I am a Certified EFT Therapist – the highest level of competence granted by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.
The First Three Sessions
To begin, for the first session you will as a couple meet with me; then I would like to meet with each of you individually for a session each—to explore your attachment history and for us to get to know each other and feel safe with each other—then we will come back together and continue working together in couples therapy. Ideally these first sessions will be done as soon as we can; and we will meet on a weekly basis thereafter.
A Renewed Relationship: Satisfying & Accepting You as You Truly Are
This is a process that will take time to explore and try new ways of being together. Gaining these new insights, experiencing emotions more fully, practicing new behaviors is difficult work. You will need to feel safe in order to be open and honest, vulnerable, forthcoming, and willing to be responsive and accessible for your partner. This will be new—but it is the way out of the negative cycle in which you have been stuck, and is the way to having a complete and satisfying relationship with your partner who is there for you completely as you truly are.
I am non-judgmental and supportive. All are welcome by me for us to find a way through their issues and conflicts toward safe and secure loving relationships.
If you're ready to explore couples therapy with one of us, Stephen or Joseph, call or email to make an initial consultation.