Have you tried couples therapy before but didn’t find much success? Indeed, many methods to help couples heal may not have a high efficacy rate. However, before you toss in the towel, you may want to consider EFT. 90% of couples who attend EFT report a significant improvement in their relationship. Likewise, nearly 75% of couples report they moved out of a state of distress. Curious to learn what makes EFT different?
You’ve seen it in the movies, couples in a therapy session going back and forth about all the things they’re doing wrong. Of course, what we see on the big screen isn’t real, but it depicts a common truth. It’s hard to change when you’re focused on the behaviors rather than the emotions that are driving them. Emotionally Focused Therapy, or EFT, is different from other common approaches used in couples therapy. Rather than focusing on the behaviors that need to change to fix the problem, EFT is emotionally focused. There are many reasons why this is productive.
Let’s talk more about why EFT differs from other methods of couples therapy and why it may be worth giving counseling another try.
Understanding the Role of Emotions in EFT
Emotions are tools our bodies use to communicate with our brains. Likewise, they are automatic responses to either an internal or external stimulus. Feelings, however, differ and form as a result of life experiences. We naturally begin to interpret situations and develop a personal narrative at a young age. As a result, our subconscious emotions trigger feelings that then trigger a response. Hence, focusing on feelings and emotions through EFT rather than behaviors is so powerful.
Universally, people experience happiness, sadness, anger, fear, overwhelm, and disappointment. Likewise, emotions aren’t good or bad; they’re simple tools of communication from within. At the same time, it’s our emotions that queue a response.
It may not take much for your spouse to make your blood boil. However, have you paused to consider why? For example, what’s leading to the reaction that stems from the dishes left on the counter or the socks that get dropped two steps in front of the laundry basket? Diving in deeper can help you figure out what is at the root of the response. Perhaps you tell yourself that your spouse is deliberately disregarding your desire to have a clean house. Maybe it connects to not feeling heard, important, or enough. In reality, your partner may focus solely on your response, chalk it up as an overreaction and dismiss your emotions. Without clarity on what is driving one another’s reactions, resentment and contempt can set it. As a result, you may find yourself stuck in a pattern of poor interactions.
How EFT May Help Couples Heal
Emotional dependence is a vital component of a romantic relationship. We rely on one another for love, comfort, safety, security, and support. Through EFT, couples work to establish a secure attachment. This begins with an emotional connection. With the help of your therapist, you’ll work to re-establish positive regard toward one another and strengthen your bond.
The EFT approach takes place over three stages, with specific steps within each stage. Ultimately the goal is to establish a new pattern of emotional responses and refine communication. Likewise, the goal is for couples to learn how to hear one another better and respond with compassion and acceptance. Finally, EFT aims to help couples create an environment that is conducive to a solid relationship.
EFT can be a powerful way to gain insight into why you respond the way you do. With a better understanding of the emotional cycles you get stuck in, you can work on ways to reapproach your emotional responses to one another. Together, you’ll seek solutions, understanding, and validation. As a result, this can lead to powerful insight and clarity that results in healing and change. Likewise, EFT is an effective way to create a secure bond and improve feelings of satisfaction within the relationship.
At Fort Worth Counseling and Intervention, we’ve seen the success couples can experience through EFT. Likewise, we understand the factors that can contribute to the hardships within a relationship. We’re experienced with ways to help, and we’d love to see if we can help you heal.