What is EFT?
I work with couples using an evidence-based therapy model called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). This approach emphasizes human attachment as a pivotal factor in understanding the way adult partners relate to one another.
EFT focuses on strengthening the emotional bond between partners by uniting against the negative pattern they get stuck in.
Research on couples who receive EFT therapy shows that 70-75% move from distress to recovery while 90% show significant improvement
What is Adult Attachment?
Humans are relational animals with biological wiring in our brains that look to other people for safety and security. These attachment bonds increase our chances of survival.
These attachment relationships are THAT important!
When we choose someone to be our partner, we are attaching so much importance to this relationship. Therefore, when this attachment relationship appears to be threatened or insecure, our basic survival instincts take over and we react in ways that would never happen within any other relationship.
How Do Negative "Cycle" Relationship Patterns Happen?
When a person gets a signal from their partner that sends the message that this attachment bond is at risk, it causes that person to react in a fight, flight, or freeze.
However, their partner does not know there is a survival mechanism being triggered and may label this behavior as irrational or perceive it to be a threat in and of itself. They may react to this behavior with their own protective mechanism, leaving their partner feeling more insecure about their bond together.
When both partners fear their most important relationship is endangered, they instinctively react with their own protective strategies. These are not choices -- it is human nature.
When two partners are both in a protective stance, they become stuck in a negative “cycle” pattern of reactivity. In this negative pattern, empathy, curiosity, and receptivity are unavailable. Neither partner feels heard or understood. Their sense of love and connection feels distant.
Both partners feel hurt and afraid of the loss of this loving bond. But their protective reaction to this threat only exacerbates the behavior in their partner that feels so threatening. You can see how this can escalate so quickly!
When this relationship cycle persists, this important attachment bond begins to feel unsafe and untrustworthy. It becomes harder to share those moments of love and connection that brought you together in the first place.
Using evidenced-based techniques from the EFT model, I will support you and your partner in reestablishing a safe and secure connection together.
We will put your negative cycle patterns under the microscope to explore each of your unique experiences when your relationship gets stuck. We will identify the triggers for each of you, which set your cycle in motion. Together we will create a shared understanding of how these negative patterns get in the way of the deep connection you both desire.
As we gain more clarity about your cycle, we will explore unmet needs that arise within this pattern and make connections to past attachment wounds each of you may be carrying from your own past experience.
This may also include any attachment injuries that have occurred in the relationship such as affairs, addictions, and emotional abuse or neglect.
We will highlight opportunities for both of you to disrupt this pattern and create positive change within your relationship throughout the process.
Our therapy sessions will be a space to practice new ways of relating to one another. You will learn tools and strategies to support improved communication and more consistent emotional regulation.
Over time, your shared understanding of your negative cycle pattern and your experience practicing new ways of relating in session will allow you and your partner to catch these triggers in real-time.
Using this approach, I have supported couples who were managing issues of infidelity, sexual trauma, addiction, and grief; as well as more general relationship stressors including communication difficulties, life transitions, compatibility questions, mental health issues, and decreased sex and intimacy.
I emphatically believe EFT is a powerful and transformative experience to share with your partner that can create a new sense of safety and security in relationships for even the most distressed couples.