Emotionally Focused Couples Counseling

A Healthy Bond Described
Two adults who, without too many disruptions, reciprocally share in admiring one another’s styles of expressiveness and expansiveness; take comfort in each other’s soothing; have a sufficient mix of common qualities, interests, and beliefs; encourage one another’s verbalization of feelings and experience; reckon with and tolerate inevitable disappointments; and utilize their own strong feelings as signals that indicate something to explore within themselves, instead of becoming fixated in blaming their spouse for their disappointment.

Why is Couples Counseling important?
Relationships are ever present in our lives and lead to most of life’s feelings.  Freud said, “We are never so defenseless against suffering then when we are in love.”  Depending on a partner is often pathologized in western culture as a childhood trait that we must outgrow, however; it turns out that seeking and maintaining contact with significant others is an innate, primary motivating principle in human beings throughout our life span. Isolation is more dangerous for human beings than smoking.

Why do we get so angry or withdrawn?
There are only so many ways to react when we are rejected.  In general we are all asking “Can I depend on you when I need you?”  The two most common ways to respond to this question are with anxiety or avoidance.

What we will do:

  - Move from a focus on flaws to the discovery of your own fears and longings.
  - Move from isolation to connectedness.
 
- Move from vigilant defense or attack to openness and risk-taking.

How we will do it:

- Focus on emotions because emotions are what tell us what we need and fear.
- Emotions are what connect us to our partners.
- Focus on the present instead of the past or the future.
- Look for underlying emotions such as fear, hurt, and shame.
- Focus on cycles rather than blame.
- By choreographing emotionally charged sequences to enhance bonding.

 

Let’s get started!