Emotionally Focused Therapy expands on the techniques from client-centred therapy uses a scientifically validated theory of adult bonding to help couples understand not only their own emotions but also how back-and-forth patterns of emotional reactions affect relationships.
Attachment theory - the concept that people are made healthier by emotional contact and need to feel safe in their connections to others, helped guide the development of this approach. Emotionally focused therapy is based on the idea that distress in relationships is often related to long-held fears of abandonment. When partners are not able to meet each other’s emotional needs, they can get stuck in a "negative cycle" driven by ineffective attempts to get each other to understand their emotions and needs.
Emotionally focused therapy has been studied extensively, and a strong empirical base of evidence supports the intervention, which is based on research that has identified differences in how couples relate to each other and how these differences are critical to relationship distress and success. Research examining outcomes for couples who have participated in emotionally focused therapy shows the therapy decreases distress within relationships and partners interact in more successful ways. Follow-up studies conducted with those who participated in emotionally focused therapy showed the positive effects of the treatment continued for years after the therapy concluded (Psychology Today).
Using Emotionally Focused Therapy, Kate will help you look at the patterns in your relationships and move towards creating a more secure bond and building greater trust within your relationship. Couples and families in distress can benefit from EFT and learn to improve their relationships. EFT has also been proven to be effective for couples who are having trouble coping with their own illness or that of a child. In addition to helping the distressed relationship, EFT can also help reduce individual symptoms of depression or trauma.
Kate takes the time to observe the dynamics between the partners, looks at how this actually plays out at home, and helps direct new conversations and interactions based on more honest feelings. To achieve this, Kate encourages you to review your current emotional issues and then helps you discover feelings and emotions that you may not know you have. You may discover deeper past feelings and vulnerabilities that are blocked by the more immediate emotions you display in your current relationships. You can learn to express these emotions in a way that will help you connect, with your partner, family and friends on a deeper more satisfying level. You also learn new ways to listen to your partners needs and emotions and find more appropriate ways to respond to emotional situations.
EFT focuses on the current issues and aims to make real change now that can make a real improvement to your quality of life. To do that there are three stages of EFT to complete. The first is to de-escalate the couple’s or family member’s negative cycle of interactions, and help them identify and understand what is happening. The next stage is to restructure interactions, change the negative cycle into a positive one. You learn how to reach for each other and ask for your needs to be met and in return as a couple or family member you can become more open and responsive to each other. The third stage is consolidation, helping you see how you got into negative patterns and making sure you don't fall back into these old patterns of behaviour.