I utilize an adapted form of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in my work with couples.
EFT provides a language for healthy dependency between partners and looks at key moves and moments that define an adult love relationship. The primary goal of the model is to expand and re-organize the emotional responses of the couple. New sequences of bonding interactions occur and replace old, negative patterns such as “pursue-withdraw” or “criticize-defend.” These new, positive cycles then become self-reinforcing and create permanent change. The relationship becomes a haven and a healing environment for both partners. The process reduces couples’ conflict while creating a more secure emotional bond. Couples learn to express deep, underlying emotions from a place of vulnerability and ask for their needs to be met. Partners begin to view undesirable behaviors (i.e., shutting down or angry escalations) as “protests of disconnection.” Couples learn to be emotionally available, empathic and engaged with each other, strengthening the attachment bond and safe haven between them.
The distressed couples who may benefit from EFT include those where one or both partners suffer from depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorders and chronic illness, among other disorders. EFT has proven to be a powerful approach for couples dealing with infidelity or other more traumatic incidents, both current and past.
I am a lifetime member of both the The New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.