Dana Vince is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist and Supervisor, all of our therapists have extensive education and training in EFT.
Emotionally Focused Therapy is the only therapy model for couples that research has shown to have long lasting effects on couples who receive this type of counseling. So what is Emotionally Focused Therapy? It is a model of counseling established by Sue Johnson (author of the book Hold Me Tight) in the 1980′s that sees relationships through an attachment lense.
It is a treatment model that is based off the knowledge that we are wired for connection. We all need to feel special to an important other in our life. We need to have a secure base, a safe haven to function and live a healthy and vibrant life. When couples are in distress, they get stuck in negative patterns and cycles that threaten that secure connection with one another.
When couples fight, there are usually underlying emotions and core needs that are not being expressed. The most common ones are
“I feel alone”
“I feel like I don’t matter to you”
“I don’t exist in your mind”
“I can’t count on you”
“You are not really there for me”
“I can’t get it right with you”
“I’ll never been good enough in your eyes”.
Often times couples deal with these very painful feelings by either picking fights about trivial stuff as a way of protesting the disconnection or by withdrawing, shutting down or escaping. These responses often leave both partners feeling disconnected and frustrated, unsure how to reach for each other to feel the closeness that was once shared.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy addresses these cycles, bringing awareness and understanding to underlying core emotions of self and other while establishing a sense of safety in the relationship so each of you can share these vulnerable emotions with one another in a way that moves you closer together to provide closeness, comfort and soothing rather than farther apart. This allows the two of you to get beyond the negative patterns that have you feeling stuck.
The Emotionally Focused Thearpist uses specific steps in the process to help the couple establish a greater sense of safety so that they can communicate hurts, needs and longings and respond to one another in ways that get you unstuck from the cycle and back to a place of intimacy and connection.
A quote from the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy:
“We adhere to the philosophy that relationships are at the core of the human experience. Research indicates that emotionally fulfilling relationships are integral components of mental and physical health, and that emotionally focused interventions have the power to establish and re-create supportive bonds among individuals. We are therefore dedicated to the understanding and enhancement of couple and family relationships through an emphasis on emotions and their interpersonal impact. We believe that all people can maximize their potential given a nurturing social environment, which we endeavor to foster in our work with clients.”