Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

thebbse@gmail.com April 7, 2023

Emotionally Focused Couples therapy is a way of helping couples to stop negative patterns in their tracks by understanding first what they are, what drives them, and where they came from. We work on building the muscle for slowing things down.

Vulnerability leads to closeness
Slowing down leads to understanding
Understanding leads to vulnerability

When you get clear on what is driving your reactive emotions (and we all have them!) then you are going to feel more comfortable in understanding them. All couples have some negative patterns that can come out in times of stress or transition. Even couples who get married or move in together can experience times of high stress negative patterns.

The Key to Vulnerability

Being vulnerable is one of the hardest tasks because when we are upset, we want to protect ourselves. And our partners, ironically because we are so close to them, can elicit intense feelings. Those feelings can feel so strong that we automatically protect ourselves – and that protection leads to a harder time being vulnerable.

In order to be vulnerable, here are some tips:

  • When you notice you are getting upset, take a few deep breaths, at least 3 times for 5 seconds. Let the out-breath be a little longer than the in-breath.
  • Realize that you are protecting yourself. You are putting up a little (or big) shield to protect yourself. That shield is not letting your partner know how you really feel.
  • Remember a time where your partner was loving you and was showing you how much they cared. Remember that your partner is feeling upset too and is probably scared or sad underneath.

So slow down, think about how you are protecting yourself and that you may look like a prickly porcupine to your partner rather than the scared bunny that might be lurking underneath. You want your partner to know the inside, the soft side, because they will feel safer, and be able to be closer to you and more able to be vulnerable too.