Long-term relationships take commitment, communication and patience. Couples who have been together past the “honeymoon” stage understand how crucial it is to share emotions and desires. What if, however, there is baggage that keeps coming up on one side or the other, hindering this openness? What if emotions developed either in this relationship or in the past make it impossible to communicate effectively and love fully? Emotionally Focused Therapy, or EFT, was established almost 40 years ago with this situation in mind. Take a look at what makes this type of couples therapy useful for so many.
When Is EFT Recommended?
Humans are full of strong emotions that can come and go. When some of these go unchecked, they can fester and result in depression, or they can spill over in fits of anger. One or both people in a relationship may experience emotional upheaval due to things like:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
A therapist should be able to tell if EFT is the right form of therapy.
How Does EFT Work?
EFT is a short-term treatment. It usually lasts for no more than 20 sessions. In that time, a therapist should give the couple a chance to cut past the negativity and get to the heart of the problem. In some instances, one person may be holding the other accountable for events that happened years prior. This isn’t necessarily intentional. These feelings often remain hidden. A therapist can give couples insight into the underlying issue which, in turn, helps in their current problems.
What Is the Process?
The first step in undergoing EFT is a de-escalation of the current conflict. By doing this, the couple can stop fighting and talk things through in a reasonable manner. After this step occurs, the therapist then begins to examine the underlying issue. Perhaps one experienced infidelity in the past, and something happening now is triggering the anger and betrayal. Once the root problem surfaces, the counselor can start teaching the partners how to interact more effectively and lean on each other rather than pushing each other away. Finally, by the conclusion of the sessions, the couple should have a better understanding of how negative patterns develop and more importantly perhaps, how to stop them from getting too far.
EFT may be an effective tool for struggling couples. When strong emotions are peeled back revealing the core, couples can then start to deal with what’s behind the negative feelings and interactions. Getting help before a relationship gets too far gone is essential for those wanting to remain together. Couples therapy and EFT may be able to help save your relationship – and yourself.