Research on the treatment of couple distress

Jan 2012 – JMFT

I'm reminded as I read “Research on the treatment of couple distress” (JMFT, Jan 2012) what it really takes to create change in couple distress. Using the treatment model and keeping the attachment focus and working with emotion are key to creating change in couple distress.

Of course, learning to use attachment focus, access and expand emotion seem to be the hardest elements to EFT to learn. We have to be able to use the interventions of evoking and heightening emotions and creating enactments with emotional intensity to restructure the couple relationship. This can be especially difficult, but even more important, when couples are recovering from betrayals and deep injury.

We have to be able to help clients move through hot (reactive) and cold (shut-down) emotion into vulnerability and share intensive emotion with the partner, and then help the partner receive that intensity and what it means for their relationship – how important sharing and hearing vulnerability is to the healing of their bond.

Yesterday I facilitated a group of wonderful EFT therapists. It was, hmmm, what's the right word – thrilling? Yes, it was thrilling (in a solemn kind of way) to feel the change happening in the room as these devoted therapists got more experience in staying with, reframing and creating enactments to help couples.

If couples could know the skill these devoted EFT therapists have there would be so much more hope in marriage, so many more successful marriages and many more couples who could find healing from childhood trauma and betrayals within their own relationships. What a hopeful, helpful and meaningful profession we have as EFT Therapists. Every EFT therapy practice would be bulging with clients.

I want to encourage all of you learning EFT to focus on developing more comfortability with working with (i.e. feeling/attuning to) deep emotion, using attachment language and creating enactments. You'll more often be thrilled and your couples will too.

I hope you'll follow me on facebook.