How can you maintain or restore a vital and loving relationship? According to Sue Johnson, the developer of Emotion-Focused therapy, the key is building a secure connection with an emotionally responsive partner. As Johnson puts it: “Emotional responsiveness has three components: accessibility (Can I reach you?), responsiveness (Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally?) and engagement (Do I know you will value me and stay close?)”.
Emotionally-focused couples therapy (EFT) is a short-term, structured approach designed to promote secure connection and emotional responsiveness. The therapy is primarily experiential, meaning that you often talk directly to each other, engaging in better conversations that can create a deeper and more satisfying connection. Change happens first in sessions with my assistance, and then outside of sessions on your own. We begin by working with “key moments of attachment and detachment” by identifying and de-escalating negative patterns or cycles. The two of you begin to see: “we’re getting stuck in our cycle again”, becoming allies who can see that the cycle rather than either individual is the source of the problem. We work to help you to express your deep and sometimes vulnerable emotions in an atmosphere of safety–asking for what you need from each other, without attack or blame, and really listening with compassion by being present and attuned to what your partner is saying.
The goal is to change the patterns and the way you relate to each other so you can have a secure connection and a satisfying and long-lasting relationship.