It is hard to feel content and safe in the world when your primary relationship is in distress. Whether you are experiencing frequent arguments, persistent irritability, or a growing sense of distance, relationship distress can affect your overall sense of well-being and seep into other areas of your life. It can be very difficult to admit how bothered you are by this “rough patch”, or to advocate for involving a third party when your own efforts to repair get stuck. I’ve spoken with many couples who say that coming in for couples therapy has been some of their best use of time and resources. I’ve also spoken to countless couples who say they wished they hadn’t waited so long to come in and try.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is a short-term (8-20 sessions), structured approach to couples therapy that uses theories of adult attachment and bonding to help understand dynamics in couple relationships. This model has been well-researched in the last two decades, and studies find that at least 70-75% of couples move out of distress and are able to maintain this change after therapy is ended. EFT also blends well with Gottman’s research-based observations about what makes marriage/relationships work. How does it feel to think that six months from now you could be feeling better, and more connected to your partner than you have been in some time?
The format for EFT is an initial 90 minute session with both partners together, followed by individual sessions with each partner alone, and then weekly 90 minute sessions for 10-15 weeks.