"It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish proverb
Emotionally Focused Therapy is a research based therapy that is scientifically shown to have long term success for couples. Traditional marriage counseling is based on communication skills, rules of fair fighting, negotiating compromises, date nights, and "homework." However, research and experience has shown that this type of counseling, while somewhat effective in the short term, the gains are not sustainable, and some of the tools are just band-aids.
We now understand that couples in distress are not suffering from a lack of ability to communicate, but rather a lack of connection. The fights about the dishwasher are not really about the dishwasher. They are calls for connection like:
Do I matter to you?
Can you see me?
Am I important and valuable to you?
Can I ever get it right with you?
Do you see me as competent?
Am I safe with you?
Can I reach you when I need closeness and comfort?
We can feel emotionally off balance when we do not feel important or connected to the most valuable person in our life, our intimate partner. Our ability to effectively communicate or follow "rules of fighting fair" go out the window. We no longer care about the rules. We want to be heard, we are in fight or flight mode.
EFT aims to help couples understand what throws them off balance, identify the underlying issues that are causing distress, create a sense of safety for both partners to be able to turn to one another from a vulnerable place and restore a sense of secure connection and intimacy.
The EFT therapist looks at the dance between partners, as well as the internal struggle and pain of each partner. There is no bad guy in the dance and the therapist does not assign blame. When we understand the underlying pain, we can then understand the behaviors that are keeping the negative dance going and keeping partners distanced and disconnected from one another.
Emotionally Focused Therapists help slow the dance down so the couple can examine the negative cycle together and begin the process of stopping the cycle, beginning to listen and understand one another on a deeper level. Research has consistently shown that this process of change creates deeper and more meaningful connection. Change that lasts sustainably over time.
10421 Hickory Path Way, Suite 102
Knoxville, TN 37922