I use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in my practice. This is a technique most commonly associated, and developed by, Susan Johnson. One of the things I love most about this approach is that it is here-and-now focused. We deal with what is coming up in the moment. It is geared towards helping couples have successful, even though sometimes painful, experiences in therapy rather than simply teaching them a set of principles to try out at home. As a couple’s counselor, I work to develop couple’s ability to communicate on a deeper and genuine level. Some couples, for example, will say to me, “I’m mad that he keeps putting me off for work”. Using the EFT approach, I will help them recognize that there is more than just being mad at play in this situation. There is, perhaps, hurt or betrayal. Its difficult for couples to share the latter because of how vulnerable it makes them. In a situation where they are already being hurt, it’s difficult to open up and talk about the their emotions because they could be hurt even more. Rather, its seemingly easier, and with an illusion of protection, they will talk to their spouse through anger. Getting down to the hurt and what is really going on is crucial. Creating emotional safety in the relationship is important as it allows each partner to be vulnerable and exposed emotionally. It takes more than simple validation and reflecting. This is something a couple’s counselor can help you with.
Written by Triston Morgan PhD, LMFT
Couples Counselor in Orem, Utah