What is EFT?

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is proven to be the most effective form of transforming relationships into safe, close, and lasting bonds that we all long for. Couples try really hard in their own way to connect but often end up misunderstood and hurt, leading to loneliness and pain. EFT can help put the pieces back together.

emotional focused couples therapy Gresham, OR

Why EFT?

When couples sense the other person has their back, they both feel more secure, connected and happy. It feels good. With security, couples are naturally able to solve problems and communicate effectively. But, the instant that we feel distant, insecure or hurt, that sense of connection vanishes and is replaced by anger, fear, silence or demands. Both partners are confused, frustrated and lonely; wondering why this always happens and losing hope that it will ever change. We instantly move into self-protection, withdrawal or pleading and this pattern happens over and over, robing couples of a sense of closeness. With EFT, you will experience a whole new way of reaching for and connecting with each other. You both want to feel connected, loved, valued and safe. With EFT, you can both experience that connection and find a lasting bond.

Is EFT for you?

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy has a proven repair rate of over 70% with upwards of 90% of couples finding significant relief from their disconnection. If you feel lonely, misunderstood and have tried everything you know to connect, I honestly believe you can benefit from EFT's proven road map to connection. All of us long for the same thing and EFT is the answer!

However, a few things will keep EFT from being as effective as it can be. Where there is active abuse, addictions or an ongoing affair, it is very difficult to foster a safe connection. It's important that we work together if one or more of these issues is a factor in your relationship. Together we can build the safety needed to transform your relationship into the secure bond that all of us long for.

Research shows that Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is more than twice as effective as traditional marriage counseling that focuses on communication and conflict. Nearly everyone seeks counseling for "communication" problems and yet underlying those communication issues is always a "connection" problem. EFT creates connections that transform your relationship into a powerful and lasting bond. EFT follows a highly researched road map on the science of adult love and attachment that helps couples move from relational distress to more secure, loving relationships.

Couple distress is the most common reason people seek counseling. Let's face it, we all "just want to get along" but that doesn't always happen and, when we are out of tune with the person closest to us, we hurt. In fact, we hurt so much that we either desperately try to fix it or we just kind of shut down and withdraw. This type of pursue withdraw pattern is common but also destructive to marriages and families and closely linked to depression and anxiety.

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) offers a concise and comprehensive theory of adult love based on the research of attachment needs. We all need to feel safe and connected but often we get our signals crossed and miss each others attempts at connection. This then sets up a powerful and reinforcing cycle that only reinforces disconnection and despair. EFT is a highly researched and proven treatment process that helps couples understand their destructive patterns, bond in a secure manner, and actually understand that adult love really is all about safety, security and a sense of connectedness to the most important person in our lives.

Emotionally Focused Therapy is based on nine proven steps that help couples move from deadlocked and destructive patterns that overtake the marriage to a true sense of bonding and love. EFT is one of the best researched and empirically validated forms of marriage counseling and over 70% of couples actually repair their relationship and continue to improve even after the counseling ends.

Once you understand how to connect emotionally, you really do find the love of your life.

"Why marriage counseling doesn't work"

Erica Manfred Blog in The Huffington Post, February 16, 2015

There's a good reason most marriage counseling doesn't work, because "couples therapy may be the hardest form of therapy and most therapists aren't good at it," according to an article by William Doherty in the professional journal Psychotherapy Networker.

"Surveys indicate that about eighty percent of therapists in private practice do couples therapy. Where they got their training is a mystery because most therapists practicing today never took a course in couples therapy and never did their internships under supervision from someone who'd mastered the art. From a consumer's point of view going in for couples therapy is like having your broken leg set by a doctor who skipped orthopedics in medical school."

According to the New York Times two years after ending marital counseling twenty-five percent of couples are worse off than they were when they started, and after four years thirty-eight percent are divorced.

These grim statistics are actually not set in stone if the couple finds an experienced therapist with an effective approach. Some approaches, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy claim a success rate as high as seventy-five percent.

How do you find a good marriage counselor?

"Shop around," says Dr. Michael Zentman, Director of the Adelphi University Post Graduate program for Marriage and Couples Therapy. "Ask if the person is trained in marital therapy. Meet them. Ask them about the approach they use. A seasoned clinician should be able to explain what his or her model is all about. Then think about the fit. Are you and your husband comfortable with the person, do you both feel a connection?"

Zentman explains that most counselors who aren't trained in marital therapy don't come up with a diagnosis, but work on the symptoms, such as communication. They tell the couple to do things like go out together one night a week, give each other more compliments, listen without arguing. This might work for a few weeks or months, but if the underlying issues aren't addressed, the problems will re-emerge.

He also explains that therapists miss dealing with what has changed in a relationship to cause it to fall apart. If a couple got along relatively well for twenty years, but things have gone downhill for the last ten, the therapist has to find out what happened ten years ago in order to discover why there is a problem now.

Shopping around is easier said than done when you're in crisis. It's hard to make a good decision when your marriage is falling apart and you may be falling apart with it. Zentman strongly recommends finding someone with training. How do you go about this search?

Unlike finding a therapist for yourself, asking for recommendations for a marriage counselor may not be the best way. My husband and I wound up with three lame marriage counselors by asking for recommendations. I asked other therapists whose opinion I respected and they referred me to people they thought highly of. Unfortunately they didn't realize that these particular colleagues had no specialized expertise in marriage counseling. There are a number of approaches to couples therapy that have good track records and specific theories of why marriages fail that underlie their particular method. These approaches don't just work haphazardly, but have a specific set of tools they use with all couples. A few have books written by their founders that you can read to find out about the approach before you try it. Even more importantly, they all have websites where you can find lists of therapists all over the country trained in the particular method. Instead of searching the Yellow Pages, call the therapists in your community who are trained in one of the specific approaches that appeal to you and your spouse. If there are more than one, talk to a few and pick the one who seems the most personally compatible.