Do you want to cultivate happiness, foster understanding and prioritise your loved one and yourself?” Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) can help you create a closer relationship.” Personally, EFT taught me to gradually learn to stay open-hearted and maintain perspective even during disagreements, not every time, but much more often. I learnt how to fight fair and I felt closer to my partner as a result.

Discover ways of getting in touch with what goes on inside you and as a consequence get a greater understanding of the need for closeness behind the words and behaviours of your partner. The couples therapists below will share their wisdom about how the science of love can assist you to have a more satisfying intimate relationship.

Does this sound like a fairy tale?

Like anything worthwhile, a course of EFT therapy requires you to roll your sleeves up, commit fully to the process and do the hard work. See my blog on how to get the most out of couples therapy here. But you already know that right?  It is a new doorway and you have to choose to walk through the door.  Relationships require effort and commitment. The thing is are you prepared to lean in and invest in yours before it’s too late?

Read on if you want to learn how to create the relationship you have always wanted.

Marg Ryan | Caulfield

What is EFT?

Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) is an empirically validated relationship therapy developed by Dr Sue Johnson and is practised all over the world. It is based on developing secure adult attachment, or secure lasting bonds, in your primary relationship. As a therapeutic approach this means:

  • De-escalating conflict
  • Creating a safe emotional connection
  • Strengthening emotional bonds
  • EFT for couples supports couples to become aware of their negative dysfunctional patterns of relating based on reactive emotions. It then helps to build and reinforce more positive interactions based on the acknowledgement of core emotional needs.

Jonathan Swan Coast

Why you’re not connecting

Ever feel like it’s groundhog day in your intimate relationship when on the battle front? Do those fighting feelings, behaviors or lack of connection feel repetitive? Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples targets those long term negative patterns that prevent you from having the secure loving relationship you want. Based on Attachment Theory, EFT focuses on understanding how you manage relationship distress. This distress tends to push you towards anxiety or avoidance within the relationship. EFT addresses these deep patterns while fostering and re-establishing existing positive bonds that may have been forgotten. EFT is the most evidenced of all relationship therapy approaches with 75% of couples experiencing significant improvement in 10-12 sessions. Simply put, as a Couple’s Therapist, I primarily use EFT, as it works beautifully and effectively to re-establish mutually secure, loving and fulfilling intimate bonds.

Peta Blaisdell M: 0435082107  | Seddon

Why are your fights always the same?

Ever notice that even though you fight about different things, your fights with your partner are always the same? This is because we get locked into patterns of relating with other people. These relating patterns grew out of our strong need as children to stay emotionally attached to our caregivers. The trouble is, back then we had very few options. Even when they didn’t work for us, we stuck with those patterns and they became very ingrained. Now as adults, by default we use these same attachment patterns on our romantic partners. Unfortunately, the things we do to build the relationship might not make the other person feel closer to us – in fact, they can put the other person off. Emotionally Focused Therapy helps both members of a couple understand what they do to maintain close relationships and the effect that this has on the other person. They come to see how their patterns interlock with one another and can lead to dissatisfaction and unhappiness for both people. Most importantly, however, Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples can teach you to review and change these old patterns. This gives you the best chance of being able to clearly express your attachment needs and have those needs responded to by the other person.
Tim Hill  | Richmond

Why the “Blame Game” is a losing strategy.

Even couples in the healthiest relationships can struggle when it comes to resolving issues of major disagreement. It’s little wonder this is hard when you and your partner may have different conflict styles and perspectives. When triggered, it is easy to fall into the trap of blaming one another and trying to prove who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Unfortunately, when this happens, the relationship between the two of you loses. The “blame game” is a very common negative cycle of accusing and defending ……a losing strategy that can leave both of you feeling hurt and defeated. Keeping your partner onside as your valued and respected team-mate is always a better option. Want the good news? This is a skill that couples can learn to do better. Taking responsibility for how you both react in these moments and becoming more aware of the impact you have on each other, are important first steps. Learning to stay tuned into your own and your partner’s emotions and reaching for one another from a more open and respectful place, will ensure the relationship is always the Winner.
Dr Karen Johnson  | Richmond

Emotion focused therapy - how to have a great relationshipThe secret behind great sex

Do you want to know what helps couples have a truly satisfying sex life? The more research that is done the more we find that being securely attached to one significant other, who is also our partner sexually leads to the highest reports of sexual satisfaction. Before you can take the risk of being sexually close with another, you need to be sure that you are safe emotionally with your partner. This is not only the case for female partners who are physically smaller and statistically more likely to be subject to intimate partner violence, but also for males. Being sexually intimate with another requires you to be vulnerable, to be open, to be able to play, to face fears or discomfort and more. This all requires trust and safety and therefore, a secure attachment bond. This seems to be the case regardless of whether a couple is a mixed sex or same sex. You are wired for connection and seek security in your attachment bonds. Only when you feel secure, can you be free to take risks and truly let go.
Dr Clare Rosoman | Brisbane

Why is EFT for couples so effective?

EFT for couples is an elegant synthesis of established approaches to relationship counselling. Simply put, it is a model that is grounded in your actual experience of your relationship that helps you think about what is happening within each of you, and how that plays out in the dance between you. An EFT therapist will walk alongside you to ensure that your therapy is relevant to your experience and what you would like help with; you are the experts on your relationship. They will assist you in making sense of your concerns, including the distress that arises from the escalating conflict, distance and disconnection that prompts most couples to seek help.

Does it matter when we decide to get help?

YES! Too frequently couples leave their relationship concerns on the back burner until it is too late. You manage to get to the hairdresser, the dentist and take your car in for a regular service, but it can be a struggle to find the time to attend to your own relationship – the very thing so many people say that matters most. Once your relationship is caught in a negative cycle, this can take a great toll on your bond making safety and trust very difficult. When we stay on this road, we start to have dark thoughts and feelings about ourselves, our partner and our relationship. If you think of a relationship as having a pulse, it is as if the pulse becomes weak or thin, lacking the robustness of a secure couple bond. We can even tip into the flat line of emotional detachment. Once couples are far enough down this road, it is very hard to turn things around.

Linda Murrow Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor  | Elwood

“Being the “best you can be” is really only possible when you are deeply connected to another. Dr Sue Johnson ”

If you need relationship help, click the websites mentioned throughout this blog and find out how we can help.