8 Reasons Why Emotionally Focused Therapy Works So Effectively To Restore the Love and Connection in Your Relationship
We now know that attachment needs are universal and operate at all ages. In fact, recent research shows that adult attachment relationships have the same survival function as the parent-child bond – providing a safe person to turn to for contact, comfort and reassurance to meet life’s challenges and to take the risks necessary for personal growth. The difference between the parent-child bond and the couple bond is that the couple bond needs to be reciprocal. If it is, this bond provides love, comfort, support and protection throughout the lifespan.
EFT gets right to the heart of the conflict
Couples’ conflict and disconnection is the number one reason people seek counseling. Conflicts over jealousy, sex, finances, parenting, in-laws or other issues are not just about the specific content you argue about. At their core, these fights are about not feeling seen, heard and valued by your partner.
The latest neuroscience research demonstrates beyond a doubt, that we all need our partners to be accessible, responsive and emotionally engaged with us. When the most important person in our life is not available, or is not responding to our needs to feel close and supported, we feel distressed and often become angry, anxious, fearful, distant or numb. Regardless of the content, the deeper reality is that we all need assurance that we are cared for and that our partner will be there for us when we need them.
EFT targets the negative cycles of interaction
Every couple has conflict. That is a reality of close adult relationships. When your behavior during conflict becomes habitual and rigid over time, these patterns become toxic and destroy the love, intimacy and connection you once shared.
Patterns of anger, criticism, nagging, silence, distance, defensiveness are predictable ways of dealing with misunderstanding and hurt. The fight goes around and around with no resolution, and both of you end up feeling there is no way out of this painful cycle. You just keep getting more distant and disconnected.
EFT targets these patterns and has specific methods to help you understand and heal them so you can feel more loving, safe and connected. You and your partner can feel like best friends again.
EFT heals what really matters
In our close relationships, we all need to know, “ARE YOU THERE FOR ME WHEN I NEED YOU?” EFT is designed to help you heal the deep hurts, disrespect, betrayals that couples feel. Just beneath the harsh words and angry tone are pleas for love, acceptance, support, protection and comfort. Because the rigid pattern has taken root between you, it is not safe to express these more tender feelings. Over time, with support, you can begin to really hear and understand one another and to effectively respond to each other in a safe and loving way.
EFT builds security
The primary task of Emotionally Focused Therapy is to help you and your partner become each other’s safe haven and secure base. We can help you understand and repair what is getting in the way of you and your partner connecting, feeling close and experiencing each other in a more loving way. As you transform your negative patterns of interaction, the result is a more positive pattern which fosters love, trust and connection.
EFT fosters effective communication.
Once the destructive pattern has been modified, each of you begins to calm down and feel safer with the other. You can approach topics that were previously taboo or were guaranteed to get a fight started. Without so much of the past defensiveness, each of you will be better able to send each other clearer messages, feel free to speak from the heart, hear each other’s perspective and really resolve the conflict.
EFT is based on extensive research
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a research based approach to couples therapy developed by Drs. Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg. It is based on attachment theory and extensive neuroscience research regarding humans’ innate need to feel attached to and comforted by their significant others. The strategies used in EFT to heal and strengthen couple and family relationships were developed by ongoing research on the interventions and processes that most effectively restore trust in relationships and strengthen the innate attachment bond which is at the core of all successful love relationships
EFT produces results that last
Even after therapy ends, research shows that most couples remain better able to communicate with effectiveness and love. You will also be better able to collaborate, problem solve and repair relationship conflicts when they occur. You’ll develop a true partnership and enjoy the ongoing companionship, comfort, passion and love of a securely attached relationship. This is the goal of Emotionally Focused Therapy.
What four leading experts say about Emotionally Focused Therapy
“EFT is a proven road map to the process of change in couple therapy.”
John M. Gottman, Ph.D., world-renowned marriage expert, co-founder of the Seattle Marital and Family Institute, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Washington, and bestselling author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
“EFT is one of the best documented, most substantive and well researched approaches to couple therapy.”
Alan S. Gurman, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Family Therapy Training, University of Wisconsin Medical School, and a leading authority on the clinical practice of couple therapy.
EFT is “one of the few approaches to marital therapy that has been proven to be effective.”
Jay Lebow, Ph.D., LMFT, ABPP, Past President, Division of Family Psychology, American Psychological Association ; Research Consultant, The Family Institute, Northwestern University.
“Rigorous studies during the past fifteen years have shown that 70 to 75 percent of couples who go through EFT recover from distress and are happy in their relationships. The results appear lasting, even with couples at high risk for divorce.”
Dr. Sue Johnson, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa; Director of Ottawa Couple and Family Institute and International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (www.iceeft.com); Research Professor, Alliant International University.
To put the healing power of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to work for your relationship – call Sandy, 480-990-9128 or Douglas, 602-538-9094.
For more information about how EFT works and EFT research, read Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love and Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Dr. Sue Johnson and go to www.iceeft.com, and www.drsuejohnson.com.