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  • Writer's pictureTravis Atkinson

How Emotionally Focused Therapy Helps Couples Feel More Satisfied

Do you and your partner or spouse feel like you're often not on the same page and have trouble talking to each other? Couples face conflicts, but there is a way to navigate them. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a type of couples therapy backed by research and can help couples work through their problems and get closer to each other emotionally.

What is emotionally focused therapy (EFT)?

EFT is a model of couple's therapy that focuses on the emotional connection between partners. It was developed by Dr. Susan Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg in the 1980s, and since then, it has become one of the most researched and successful types of couple therapy. EFT is based on the idea that a healthy relationship is built on the emotional bond between two people. When this bond is strong, both partners feel supported and connected, and they can work together to solve challenges in their relationship. But when the bond between two partners gets weaker, they may feel disconnected, angry, or even afraid.

EFT's primary goal is to help couples recognize and understand their emotions and use them to build a stronger connection with each other. This is done through a series of exercises and conversations encouraging partners to be open and honest about their feelings. EFT therapists use a variety of methods to help couples figure out their behavioral patterns, understand them, and work through their problems. Some of these methods are empathic listening, reflecting, validating, and responding.

How does EFT work?

EFT works because it helps couples understand and talk about their feelings in healthier ways, changing patterns. EFT aims to create a safe and supportive space where couples can talk about their emotions and use those feelings to build a stronger emotional bond. This is done by guiding both partners on how to talk about their feelings in a supportive and understanding way.

Empathic listening is one of the most important parts of EFT. This means listening to your partner in a way that shows you care and understand what they are saying. EFT therapists help couples learn how to listen empathically by guiding them to pay attention to their partner's feelings instead of just the content of what they say. This helps partners understand what their partner is saying, how they are feeling, and the deeper meaning at hand so they can respond in a way that is supportive and understanding.

Reflection is another important part of EFT. To do this, you take a step back and think about your feelings and how they relate to those of your partner. This helps couples understand how their emotions and behaviors impact their relationship and how their relationship works. EFT therapists help couples learn how to reflect by getting them to think about their feelings and talk to their partners about them.

EFT therapists give feedback to help couples figure out their emotional and behavioral patterns and deal with their problems. This feedback can come from structured exercises or from talking with the therapist. The goal of this feedback is to help couples understand how their emotions are impacting their relationship and find ways to improve their emotional connection.

How can EFT help a couple feel closer to each other?

EFT can help couples connect on a deeper level in the following ways:

EFT helps couples improve their ability to talk to each other by teaching them how to listen empathically and talk about their feelings in healthier ways. This helps partners understand each other better and know what to say to each other.

How can your love relationship or marriage be helped by EFT?

Increased Empathy: EFT helps couples feel more empathy for each other by getting them to understand and validate each other's feelings. This helps partners feel heard and understood, which can lead to a stronger emotional connection.

Reduced Conflict: EFT helps couples have fewer fights by guiding them on how to recognize and change unhealthy patterns in their relationship. This can help reduce the number and intensity of fights and make the relationship better overall.

Increased intimacy: EFT helps couples become closer by encouraging them to let their guard down and talk about how they feel. This can make a couple feel closer and more connected, strengthening their feelings for each other.

Improved Problem-Solving Skills: EFT helps couples improve at solving problems by guiding them how to talk to each other and work through problems as a partnership. This can help people feel more confident in working through problems and make their relationships happier and healthier.

Going to therapy, whether it's for yourself or with your partner, shows strength and commitment to your relationship. Working through your problems with your partner can make your relationship stronger and more satisfying.

Change takes time and effort. Like any other kind of therapy, EFT needs both partners to be committed to the process and willing to work together to make changes. This might mean looking at negative patterns in your relationship, talking about challenging feelings, and changing how you talk to each other. With time and effort, EFT can help you and your partner build a stronger emotional connection and a happier relationship.

EFT is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and results may vary from couple to couple. Some couples may see big changes after just a few sessions, while others may need more time to navigate answers to their conflicts. EFT can also be an emotional process as partners talk about their feelings and work through their problems, but the result is usually worth the work.

It's also essential to find an EFT therapist who is well-trained. Therapists who are certified in EFT, they have often spent hundreds of hours training in the specific techniques and methods used in EFT, and they can help guide and support you through the process. Since 2010, Travis Atkinson, the Director of Loving at Your Best, has been certified as an emotionally focused couples therapist and supervisor.

Emotionally focused therapy is a powerful tool for couples who want to build a happier, healthier relationship and improve their emotional connection. If you and your partner are having trouble with your relationship, you might want to talk to an expert EFT therapist at Loving at Your Best to find out how EFT can help you. With the right help and direction, you can work through your problems and build a stronger, more meaningful relationship with your partner.

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