There's so mcuh distress between you and your partner. You feel exhauste, delpleted and drained every day.
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I enjoy working with couples. This work gives me inspiring energy and great joy.
When working with coupels, I usually start the process by doing an initial consultation separately with each partner to gain an understanding of the full picture and screening whether couple therapy is a right approach. If we find each other a good fit and couple therapy is the right approach at this time, we will schedule an initial assessment appointment and paperwork will be sent out to each partner to fill out for comprehensive evaluations.
It takes more than one session to have a compelte couple therapy assessment. Sessions with each partner would be scheduled as needed in addition to joint sessions to support the couples work.
I primarily use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as the main intervention approach, while integrating with other helpful strategies and techniques from other approaches. My social justice oriented approach with couple therapy would attend to power and control dynamic (if it's clinically relevant), such as gender roles, in the couple relatinoship.
My role is to hold multiple realities/truths to create and maintain therapeutic alliance with each partner in couple therapy.
My style includes
"create a safe context—a secure base, in attachment theory terms–for both partners to access and work with emotion, and to restructure interactions"
"flexibly move from processing inner experience with an individual partner to choreographing interactions between partners"
"Focus in a way that includes inner and interactional realities."
"comfort with accessing and refining of emotional experience"
"Being active in directing and restructuring interactions"
"fostering intensse expereince and pointed, sometimes dramatic, encounters "
"The EFT therapist is active, engaged, and flexible, discovering with his or her clients the possibilities in their relationship."
The person of the therapist is an important factor here, but there are also set techniques and interventions. The EFT therapist uses his or her personal style and resources to create a context for techniques and interventions, and to connect with each client's experience.
What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couple therapy?
EFT is approach build on attachment theory and emotional processing science. You may heard about attachment theory for children in terms of bounds between kids and their caregivers. We have different attachment styles (secure, anxious, avoidant, and ) while growing up. When we become adults, we also form attachment with our initimate partners in hope to establish a secure base and safe heaven for each other. However, not all couples were able to form secure attachment with each other, which leaves partners feeling lonely, not being heard, not being loved or cared, or even hopeless and abandoned. Couples struggled to get their points acrossed and repeat the same patterns with each other over a long period of time. This approach support the couple to identify and conect with their own underlying emotions and attachment needs, taking risks to be vulnerable with each other, attune, accept and meet each other's emotional and attachment needs and practice new solutions for conflicts. The joint session is very experiential and structural based that the therapist would actively interrupt and offer guidence to create corrective expereinces for each partner.
Please note: This is a quick explanation of EFT based on my training and it does not cover every essence of EFT. You can learn more about EFT from the ICEEFT website by clicking here.
Emotions in EFT
" In fact, as a therapist, I have never seen an emotion that did not make sense, if placed in context." Sue Johnson, p.60, para 2
"In genderal, emotions, like an internal compass, orient us to our world and provide us with crucial information about the personal significance of events; they tell us what we want and need." p.61, para 2
Couples in Cultural Transition
Benefit of Couple's Therapy
Couple's work can increase invidual development
Attend to Your Relationship,