Benefits of Emotionally Focused Couple’s Therapy

Yolanda works within the format and is guided by Emotionally Focused Therapy with Couples.

As a therapist, I am extremely excited about the work of Susan Johnson, PhD. She’s a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa. Her work with people who were in pain, suffering a huge emotional drama inspired her to create a therapeutic modality called Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT. This is a strength-based perspective of bonding. Her belief is that emotional bonding is a part of our basic survival. She feels that is one of our deepest human instincts and that we need a safe emotional connection with our partner. Her work began focusing on emotional bonding and helping people get out of pain when they connect with their attachment figures.

Using former theorists work such as John Gottman, John Bowlby, and Philip Shaver, as a stepping stone, she has built a new way of treating the couple. Her development of the adult bonding process created a huge therapeutic boon and the invention of EFT. I like this work because it talks about the dance that couples do which is normal but not healthy. She gives us ways to create loving relationships within safe attachments. She is inspired to train therapists to help couples understand that they have strengths and can begin to talk about their dance and move towards a healthier pattern of relating.

We use this therapy modality because it integrates the neuroscience with attachment theory. Our brains are wired for love and safety. Any time we perceive some sort of rift in our close relationships it is alarming and dangerous because losing our connection to our loved one jeopardizes our sense of security. This primal fear triggers the amygdala, the part of the brain that senses fears and we become hijacked. When people become angry or withdraw from one another it exacerbates the fight or flight response. EFT helps people come back closer together.

Couples come and learn the answers to questions such as “are you there for Me?” Another question couples want to know is, “can I count on you?” One of the most primal questions we want to ask her partners is, “if I call, will you come?” Becoming a couple that is intimate is a process. Couples that have been together six weeks or 60 years can benefit from EFT.

Yolanda can help you to define what your “Raw Spots” are, teach you to repair the bonds that may have been damaged and work towards having a closer and calmer relationship. Since emotion and bonding are universal, it is a cross cultural therapy and works with all couples including those who are educated/non-educated, gay/straight/bisexual.

**Synthesized from the article called Emotionally Focused Therapy with Couples – the social work connection by Lynn K Jones, DSW, Social Work Today.

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