I was four chapters into my first Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) book, when I dashed to the computer to find trainings. After over 20 years of reading and researching, it seemed this EFT could help couples find safety and connection with each other in an effective, different way. Most couples/marriage therapies focus on sharing your feelings using "I statements," date nights, thinking about and treating your spouse/partner like you would your best friend, relaxation/calming, and other external techniques that are supposed to influence your internal connection. EFT accesses the internal which then automatically influences and produces desired external actions.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples helps couples create the relationship they want for themselves, and their family, from the inside out. To begin, couples explain their relationship "dance" to the therapist. The therapist then uses the couple's dance to help each partner connect internally. As the internal connection grows, the external behaviors: wanting to spend time together, speaking with kindness, turning toward each other when they are hurt/sad/excited/etc., happen naturally. We act based on how we feel. If we feel safe and connected with our partner, we will act loving and connected.
After my years of researching, training and using EFT with couples, I am perplexed about the continual republishing and educating about external techniques to produce internal change. These techniques are band-aids. It is like washing your car and changing the tires, knowing the engine is the problem. Your car may look good and run for a while, but eventually that engine will give out. You do not have to keep having the same argument over and over. Couples therapy with a trained EFT therapist can help your relationship grow safer, stronger and closer. You can have the relationship and connection you want. Emotionally Focused Therapy is different. It works, and is lasting.