By: Julie Sekachev, M. Ed., LPC Associate
Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck in the way you relate to your partner? It seems to be good for a while. But, soon enough you find yourselves in a cycle of feeling attacked, shut out, unwanted, or not being heard. Do you find yourself at times alone? Craving a deeper level of closeness, validation or understanding? If so, read on how this empirically based therapy can help you establish emotional security, safety and accessibility to your partner.
What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?
Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) is a type of therapy that focuses on universal key emotions and attachment needs. Universal core emotions are fear, shame, anger, surprise, shame, hurt, sadness, and joy. Each of these emotions have cues. That is, how we evaluate these emotions (safe/unsafe/ positive/negative), the way our body reacts, and the way we respond.
According to EFT, adult love is a hardwired adaptive attachment response. What’s more, EFT uses the foundation of attachment theory. It states that emotional responsiveness and engagement are the main predictors of satisfaction in a marriage. Furthermore, couples feel safe when they can count on their spouses to be there for them when they need them.
Emotional engagement seems impossible when we employ negative cycles of anger, criticism, or complaints. Mix with anger, defensiveness and distance and couples can continue the disconnection loop. When couples experience disconnection, a process of separation anxiety happens. Partners begin to protest, which can look like anger. Not to mention, this is typically followed by seeking to reestablish a connection and cling to your partner. If partners do not respond to this protest, depression and isolation can set in.
Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples
- Recognize emotional responses and patterns of communicating
- Create new patterns of communication
- Create a more secure bond
How a more secure bond is created between couples in EFT sessions
Firstly, during couples therapy sessions you will learn how to voice your attachment needs. You will also express attachment-oriented emotions to your partner. These emotions can include desperation, longing, fear, or loneliness. EFT is about diving into the deeper emotions of destructive cycles. You will learn to identify your emotional responses and link these responses to interactional patterns.
Secondly, we work to identify and investigate vulnerable feelings, and the messages they are trying to send. For instance, uncovering and taking a risk to share these emotions with your partner is the key to a deep emotional bond. Vulnerability creates a space for compassion and a deeper sense of intimacy. Additionally, EFT can enhance your sense of safety and security with your partner. It can also strengthen your bond, which can make life stressors seem more manageable.
For more information on EFT read “Hold Me Tight” by Sue Johnson here:
Begin Emotionally Focused Therapy in Katy, TX
If you are ready to improve your relationship, one of the therapists at The Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide couple’s counseling, as well as, other mental health services. To begin couples counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to learn more about emotionally focused therapy
- Meet with one of our compassionate therapists
- Find ways to thrive in your relationship!
Other Therapy Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including: counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to regularly post blogs. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and our counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!