Getting the best out of your relationship
Although I'm not a great keeper of metrics about my practice, I do know that between a third to half of my clients are couples seeking to gain greater closeness and connection.
And what they tell me is that they keep getting stuck in the same negative groove. They can't communicate and connect in healthy ways. They aren't experiencing closeness.
Over the past several years I've trained in Emotion Focused Therapy EFT.
EFT has been shown to be particularly effective for couples who are experiencing trust issues, or feeling betrayed.
What typically happens in an EFT session is that the therapist closely observes the couple's way of relating, and encourages them to look at emotional issues and to uncover feelings they may not have realised were there.
In a session a couple often describes how things were at the beginning of their relationship. They get back in touch with those feelings of warmth, tenderness, and deep communication when they were prepared to be vulnerable and open with each other.
And they then describe how over the following months and years, these initial warm emotions and vulnerabilities have been shut down by other feelings, that are not positive. And they struggle to connect.
What EFT does is to get in touch with the issues that are causing the disconnect.
The outcome of EFT is that couples can learn positive new ways to express their emotions and gain greater closeness and connection.
I find couples are then able to listen more effectively to one another and to respond positively to each other when they encounter emotionally driven situations.