EFT (Emotion-Focused Therapy)
One of the things you can count on in life is that things will change. Change can lend itself to the greater demand of having to skillfully juggle and keep many balls in the air. These life situations call for adapting in an effective and efficient way, but trying to find a balanced perspective for dealing with these challenges sometimes cannot be faced alone. Therapy sometimes requires "thinking outside of the box" to create a much needed new and different approach to life problems. I believe this can occur through working collaboratively using EFT modalities to find solutions.
Emotions are fundamental in orienting our perception, creating internal models of self, i.e. as a loved, worthy person (Johnson, 2009), and viewed as responses that help us predict, interpret, and respond in significant relationships.
With romantic partners especially, emotionally charged exchanges can evolve so fast and become so chaotic that it's too easy to miss what actually happened and how partners could have reacted differently to prevent them. They can become deeply distressing to the point where it feels like your life is on the line. Our need for close relationships, and the powerful emotions accompanying them, tend to arise sharply and suddenly.
Focusing on the content of arguments (i.e who forgot to close the garage door) misses the forest for the trees from an EFT perspective. EFT therapists build an understanding of the dilemmas underlying the content struggling partners bring to therapy.
What fights are really about is the emotional safety in the relationship, each partner's subjective sense of the other’s caring from them (or being there for them), and fear they will get hurt in the relationship(s).
In this sense, the EFT relationship solution is accessibility and responsiveness, and the therapist actively collaborates with partners to rebuild accessibility and responsiveness. In doing so, emotions (the music of the dance between partners) are the targets and vehicles of change.
Because attachment needs are naturally healthy and adaptive, partners seek therapy because their interactive patterns leave them feeling stuck and disconnected. In EFT, these patterns are demarcated as the relationship's "negative cycle," in which partners and the therapist thus ally to combat as a team.
Therapy is an opportunity to create new emotionally-bonding experiences of vulnerability and closeness instead of the stuckness from the negative cycle. In this sense, the problem partners come to therapy with is the pattern of responses clients get stuck in when their attachment bond feels threatened. Thus, relationships fail not because of increased conflict, but lack of connection, decreasing affection, and reduced emotional responsiveness because of partners’ stuck responses in their "negative cycle."
Jason N. Linder, PsyD. (2020, August). What is Emotionally Focused Relationship Therapy?: Psychology Today.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)