Overview of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT)

EFT focuses on the bond between adult partners. I help you identify the interaction patterns that are maintaining the issues in your relationship and work with you to build the secure connection and trust your hoping to achieve.

what does eft look like?

EFT is a here and now, structured, and collaborative approach to couples therapy. It helps couples reduce their distress by looking at each individual's beliefs, emotions, and actions that maintain negative patterns. This is done by slowly identifying and accessing the deeper, more vulnerable emotions that happen underneath the surface (but rarely, if ever expressed), and then sharing these experiences with your partner, in a safe way, that encourages understanding, support, and connection.

Relationship issues generally happen when feeling distanced and disconnected from your loved one. This distance creates insecurities that build over time and eventually affect, 1. how you perceive your partner's reactions, and 2. how you react to your partner. When the discomfort, worry, or hurt becomes too much, we often find ways to protect ourselves or seek what we long for from our partner. This might look like putting up emotional walls or fighting back through criticisms/tone/volume.

what does eft not do?

EFT does not blame either partner for the issues in your relationship. Because you have such a unique bond, compared to the other relationships in your life, you have a great impact on one another. EFT looks at how you are both, unwittingly, contributing to this pattern by acting in ways that make total sense given your perspective of and feelings about the situation.

Does EFT really help?

Yes, for the majority of couples! Research shows that 70-75% of couples recover from their distress and 85-90% show significant improvements.

How long does this take?

That is a difficult question to answer. The research shows that for couples who are highly motivated and lack complicating factors, then it can take an average of 3-6 months with consistent sessions. However, there are a number of factors that could impact the speed of this work including history of personal or relationship trauma, past family dynamics, and attachment injuries (aka trust issues like affairs).

will talking about this lead to us breaking up/divorce?

Talking about relationship issues gives you the best chance to heal your relationship. Not talking about these issues allows them to expand over time and may make it more difficult to re-develop your connection.

why does having a counselor help?

Because this is so hard! When you're too close the problem it's hard to get perspective. For example, when you look at a painting from inches away it is hard to see clearly, but when standing back the image becomes much more identifiable. Because I have the training and experience working with couples, with your help I can see the whole picture of your distress and guide you both in disrupting this cycle in ways you hadn't seen before.

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ready to make a change in your relationship?