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Archives for Emotionally Focused Therapy

Communication

When to Seek Couples Therapy

Most people treat couples therapy as a measure of last resort: Your relationship is completely on the rocks, one or both of you is considering calling it quits.   It's like dialing 911.

But as I've said before, that's the worst time to start therapy--when you're feeling hopeless, when one or both of you has little investment in the relationship.  Seeking professional help sooner can make all the difference.

So what is the best time?

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Communication

Reconnecting With A Distant Partner

I practice emotionally-focused couples therapy, which is about trust and security being the bedrock of a relationship.  The core question we're all asking, on an emotional level, is: When I need you, will you be there for me?  Can I count on you?

If we sense--again, on a subterranean emotional level, possibly beneath our conscious awareness--that our partner is unreliable, or unreachable, all sorts of issues can ensue.  We might find ourselves more prone to stress, irritability,...
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Attachment

Are We A Match?

Often, I work with couples who've begun to ask that question.  "I used to love that she was so different," he'll say, "it was exciting. But now it feels like we have nothing in common."  Or, "I used to love that he challenged me," she says, "and now it just all feels like work."

What does it mean to be a match, and to stay that way, long-term?  To be complementary in your differences, instead of just...
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Attachment

Missing Pieces

There's a couple I worked with for over a year.  Recently, he made the decision to end their marriage.  He didn't seem to have made this lightly; rather, it was after much soul searching and individual therapy.  His wife was understandably angry.  They'd been together since they were in high school, and have kids.

She pointed out that he had made a lifelong commitment, that he's supposed to keep working...
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Attachment

How to Be Heard

Last week, I was meeting with a couple fresh off a really damaging fight.  She had gotten angry and threatening; he had shut down; she had continued to escalate in the hopes of getting a response.  The escalation had led to some ugly comments, from which they were still recovering.

It's a fairly common pattern.  When we want to be heard, it seems logical to speak louder, maybe even to...
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Communication

The Good Cholesterol Theory of Marriage

"I know I shouldn't attack him," my client--let's call her Amanda--sobs.  "Sometimes I just feel so scared that I'm going to lose him, and so alone.  I try to grab onto him but it pushes him away.  It's because I love him so much."

I nod encouragingly, trying to keep the tears from my own eyes.  In the world of emotionally focused therapy (EFT), we've hit pay dirt.  This is it, what we've been...
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The Burrito Fight

I've got this great young couple, newly married, and they're sweet and funny and in love.  They're not remotely on the rocks.  But I could see it getting there, and so could they, and that's why they've started therapy.

Here's the dynamic: She gets critical...
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