Deciding to go to couples counseling is in itself a big step. Taking the plunge can be nerve-wracking, embarrassing, and challenging. To make this process a little smoother, here are a few things you should know before beginning emotionally focused couples therapy.
What is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy?
Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) improves your bond with your significant other. This approach to couples therapy centers on your attachment style. EFT can help couples and family members build stronger, more secure relationships and improve communication.
Through EFT, you will learn how to identify negative behaviors that contribute to conflict in your relationship, such as shutting down or reacting with anger. Once identified, each of you will learn how to share your emotions effectively. Finally, you will learn new communication strategies to help prevent or diminish conflict in the future.
When Should You Consider Couples Counseling?
Ideally, you want to find a couples counselor before your relationship is in a real crisis. However, we are all busy, and most of us aren’t going to look into something like that when times are good. So instead, we seek out counselors when we are already struggling. How do you know if your relationship is struggling? You might find some of these examples relatable:
- You see your partner as beneath you
- An “alternative partner” comes to mind
- Feelings of being “stuck” in your relationship
- You or your partner feel dissatisfaction with the relationship
What Can EFT Help With?
EFT can benefit couples who are struggling with conflict or stress due to poor communication. Couples who benefit from emotionally focused therapy include those struggling with:
- Chronic illness
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Things to Consdier About EFT
Due to EFT being centered around exploring negative emotions and patterns, this kind of therapy can be intense. You and your partner will need to want genuine change in your relationship, and accept responsibility for the ways you both contribute to the poor health of your relationship. You or your partner may resort to old coping mechanisms you learned as a child to avoid doing this work. It can be difficult for some people to resist the urge to walk away, get angry, or shut down.
What Kind of Results Should You Expect?
Some relationships can not be saved, nor should they be. However, if you and your partner commit to working on the relationship, there is a good chance of success. Being clear about your goals will help you stay focused and manage your expectations. Sometimes progress is hard to measure, but many small changes ultimately can equal significant changes.
Choosing to attend emotionally focused couples therapy is a big step towards healing your relationship. EFT is a process in which a therapist will help you and your partner examine how your behaviors and reactions contribute to strife in your relationship. If you find yourself wondering if life would be easier or better with someone else, you might want to look into EFT. EFT can help with complex issues, such as PTSD or infidelity. At its core, EFT is meant to help you identify how your past trauma is showing up in your relationship, which can be scary. You and your partner must commit to the journey if you want to make significant changes in the way you interact with one another.
Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation provides in-person and online couples counseling in Homewood, IL. In addition, we offer family counseling and mental health services. Our therapists specialize in working with those who are struggling to process traumatic events. Give our office a call at (708) 798-5433 or email us at info@Family-Strategy.com for appointment details.