The Magic of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples

EFT stands for Emotionally Focused Therapy.  The therapy looks at how couples relate to one another and how they respond to requests or bids for attention. 

Together the therapist and the couple will look at the patterns in the relationship that is not working.  Steps are taken to learn how to change those patterns and respond better.

Couples learn to have a healthier relationship, build trust and feel loved.

Couples who come for therapy usually complain they have had enough of their partner’s behaviour. Either they make a change, or they will leave. 

Divorce may already be on their mind, and couples counselling is the last attempt to save the marriage.

Conversely, some couples have realised life got in the way. They feel distant and miss each other. All they want is to reconnect but don’t know how.

Usually, they are not sleeping well. Sex is the last thing on their mind or non-existent even.

They’re distracted or not doing well at work, and colleagues are noticing.

Someone may have something on their mind, but they are too scared to say it for fear of hurting their partner, or if they say it somehow, it would sound like criticism. The other would become defensive, and they start to fight.  

Things don’t get aired in an adult discussion, and nothing gets resolved.  They’re frustrated, angry and stonewalling. If their partner is trying to connect, or asking a simple question it may trigger a one-word answer or the silent treatment.

Things are now getting out of control. They have pushed each other so far away, and feel so hurt and scared; they don’t know how to get back to loving each other. 

At the end of the day, couples want to be heard and seen by their partner. They want to feel loved and reconnect. 

They want to be able to resolve issues in an adult way and love like they first met.  They want to be able to speak to each other without feeling fear of rejection.  

They want to feel supported, love again and be loved.  Feel emotionally safe and have space to be able to tell their partner anything and not be judged or be in fear of hurting them or starting a fight again.

How does EFT work?

EFT works by focusing on the here and now.  It doesn’t dig up the past so much or replay past hurts. There are three stages to EFT

The first is to de-escalate the couple from the anger and frustrations they are experiencing. When the heart is calm, there is a willingness to listen, learn and heal. 

The therapist does this by helping the couples understand what is happening in their relationship that is not working and making them feel so distant from each other.

It uncovers unresolved feeling they may have and deeper vulnerabilities that block the relationship from moving forward and get stuck.  Feelings of anger, fear, loss of trust or betrayal are dealt with too.

The next stage is to relearn new patterns of communication.  Learning a new language that will sound more supportive to their partner and that doesn’t push them away.

They learn to listen and be attuned to the other’s emotions so that they can respond in a loving and supportive way. 

The last stage is consolidation.  The couple and their therapist will discuss how they got stuck in the first place and how they were able to make changes. Finally, couples discuss how they would like to move forward in the future.

Why would you choose an EFT couples’ therapist?

EFT is a well-researched approach to couples counselling.  The research says 70%-75% of couples who are feeling distressed in their relationship will recover from it with hardly any relapse.

They will learn new ways of communicating and improved relationship skills.  The research also says 90% of the couple will feel an improvement in their relationship too. 

There is plenty of research and if you want to know more about research on EFT click here.  What does this all mean?  It means that EFT works.  And best of all its short term. 

On average it takes about eight to twenty sessions.  It will only take longer if there is a big issue that needs to be resolved first.

If you would like to know more about the approach to couple’s counselling or to set up an appointment I use please email me here.

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