Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in North York, Markham & Toronto, ON
Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg and is a research-validated approach that is shown to have a 75-90% success rate with couples in 8-20 sessions. EFT was even shown to be effective with couples that were already in the process of getting divorced. EFT is founded on the premise that our partner is an attachment bond which is just as important for emotional wellness as an infant's first attachment to a caregiver is. Basically, the comfort of knowing we are loved never goes away as we age. .
When couples have trouble in a relationship, they are struggling with a basic attachment issue, according to Dr. Johnson. They want answers to questions such as, “Are you there for me?” “Can I count on you?” and “If I call, will you come? But if a couple is not in tune, asking those questions can be troublesome. The signals they send can be distorted and misinterpreted, with no easy response. In a healthy relationship, our partner provides a place of safety, where we can be vulnerable, to share our hopes and fears without worry of criticism or rejection. According to Dr. Johnson, a breakdown in a couple’s communication system typically leads to one of two patterns. One is using anger to get a response: “I can’t get you to respond to me, so I will get angry, coercive, and blaming. Occasionally, it will make you pay attention to me.”Another pattern is that one person shuts down as a way of dealing with difficult feelings or the partner’s anger: “I can’t get you to respond to me with acceptance, so I will try not to need you at all. I’ll try to shut you out.” Unfortunately, shutting down blocks the other person out and exacerbates the negative emotional system.
When couples first meet the connection is strong but over time lack of attentiveness, not feeling heard or unresolved hurts create distance in the relationship. Protests to this change in connection are what Dr. Johnson calls "demon dialogues". Demon dialogues are really protests about the loss of connection, the experience of fear, sadness or loneliness often appears as anger or shutdown. Couples then when triggered end up in these demon dialogues which can happen for a variety of reasons a certain look or tone even can set off a negative cycle. These fights can become standard in some relationships, but if they gain momentum, they can take over, resulting in a devastating feeling of aloneness. EFT offers a roadmap to help couples understand how to self-correct when these demon dialogues surface. Once couples understand their negative cycles they can work towards finding more loving adaptive responses to meet each other's needs for connection.
Call (416) 826-0842 To Know More About Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)