Relationships and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) Written by Thom Bianco MA, LMHCA, CPC
Relationships can be tough, painful, and make life miserable. They can also be loving, pleasant, and make life joyful. Where are you at in your relationship? Are you struggling to keep it going? Do you feel alone and unwanted? Are you not being heard? Do you think you’d be better off without it? Or, are you happy, joyous and free?
Most everyone seeks to have a loving and fulfilling relationship. Unfortunately many never get what they want and numerous relationships fail. For some, relationships are a revolving door and for others, relationships haven’t turned out to be all they hoped they would be.
Yet life seems to take place in relationship. Husband and wife, significant other, parent and child, siblings, friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers and mangers are all relationships that take place daily in people’s lives. Some choose to be alone and avoid any kind of significant relationship. Most of us seek them out. Many of us are wanting for that just right dreamed of relationship that fills all the holes in our life and ties up all the loose ends. It’s nirvana at its finest when we finally find it and the days are brighter and nights are heaven on earth. Well, it’s that way for a little while at least.
So what happens? Over time the magic goes away. Communication dwindles and it’s not so much fun anymore. The relationship is a lot of work and in some cases the relationship can be a dreadful disaster. The people in the relationship may still love each other and seriously want to be together but they just can’t make it work. They keep struggling along day after day and stay in it for various reasons that are very legitimate but more on the obligation and commitment side. The love gets buried and camouflaged.
Is any of this happening to you? You can change that. Contact 4th Dimension Counseling for a short consultation and learn about Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is an effective therapy procedure that serves to promote and nurture a secure emotional bond between the individuals in the relationship. The process focuses on discovering and rebuilding ineffective relationship patterns and emotional responses between struggling partners. The goal of EFT is to strengthen the bonds between partners and fortify emotional health and well-being for the purpose of establishing resilience in the face of stress and crisis and develop optimal healthy relationship. EFT is a highly researched therapy and is empirically validated for its successful rate of recovery and long-term effectiveness.
Good therapy creates meaningful change in a brief and efficient manner. EFT offers a clear and organized process and procedure to guide interventions and change in struggling relationships. Struggling relationships are usually filled with various drama scenarios and EFT helps the client find their way through them. EFT offers repair technique that restructures troublesome and key emotional responses and replaces them with healthier and more functional patterns that promote bonding. Specifies procedures are demonstrated to allow the relationship partners to formulate what to do, how to do it, and when the procedures are required.
Emotional Focused Therapy is a collaborative and humanistic therapy. The therapy sessions are nonjudgmental and unbiased. The sessions provide a secure base for the partners to explore and expand their relationship. Support is provided for each partner’s position in the relationship even though their positions may oppose each other.
The relationship is continuously being monitored and any disruptions are addressed immediately and directly. While one partner’s experience is being tracked and reflected upon the other partner is also supported and reassured. Open feedback and correction is provided and the rationales behind the behaviors are given. You will experience each other as you know each other and the goal is to come to a resolution based upon your own thoughts, wants and feelings.
The clients are considered the experts of their own selves and the focus is on their capacity to overcome hardship, pain, and despair in a safe and supported environment. There is a focus on how couples construct what’s going on inside of them and their corresponding reactions. The belief is that each individual partner holds the capacity to grow and change. The relationship is therefore seen as a flowing entity rather than something stuck in time. Therefore it is allowed to change and grow along with the partners in the relationship.
The ability to grow, develop new meanings, and enrich the sense of self lay behind the relationship’s negative feelings and disturbing behavior. Current problems are seen as arising from once workable solutions that have now become ineffective, inflexible, and limiting. The relational shift comes through validating the couple’s strengths and articulating positive life tendencies like the longing for connection. The emphasis is on strengthening relational bonds, looking beyond the problems and symptoms, and bringing in to existence personal growth through secure relationships.
EFT emphasizes the secure connection between individuals in the relationship and views the maintenance of individual needs as a key factor for the resolution of relational distress. This perspective on relationship also implies that dependency is seen as an innate part of being human rather than a sign of immaturity. Viewing the relationship through this lens develops a willingness to accept each other’s needs, to connect with and lean on others, and to view dependence and autonomy as two sides of the same coin, rather than contradictions.
Emotional Focused Therapy works with the relationship to reveal the emotional experiences that activate core beliefs about self and other, and serves to create new and corrective emotional experiences that will produce a nurturing relationship.
EFT is not an emotional purging or an unloading of emotional baggage. EFT is a reprocessing and integration of emotional experience. Many couples are frightened and disorganized by their feelings and EFT helps them develop a more accepting relationship with their own emotions and their basic needs.
EFT revolves around two main therapeutic tasks. First it raises and expands core emotional experiences that trigger relationship reactions. Secondly EFT trains the partners to restructure their reactions to conscious and acceptable responses. This process of continual discovery and renewed sense of connection between the individuals in the relationship brings about a unique way of being. It is on the path of being happy, joyous, and free.
Are the remedies for your relationship in here somewhere? Struggling along in your relationship day after day ruins the joy of being alive. Most people agree that life is short. A stressful relationship can add to the shortness of life but paradoxically make the days long and difficult. Move out of the problem and move towards a solution. Contact 4th Dimension Counseling for a short consultation and learn about Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
Thom Bianco MA, LMHCA, CPC
Thom is a Certified EFT – Emotionally Focused Therapy – Therapist with Fourth Dimension Counseling and Coaching in Kirkland, WA.
Thom has extensive experience working with couples using EFT therapeutic techniques.
If you are interested in learning more about EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, relationship and marriage counseling, give us a call at 425-652-1690
Relationship and Couples Counseling & Therapy
In addition to EFT Certified Therapists, Fourth Dimension Counseling & Coaching provides experienced relationship, couples and marriage counseling, therapy and coaching for a variety of relationship situations including: