My Approach to Helping
My relationship with my clients is central to all my work with them - meaning that I work to establish a safe and collaborative one. My approach to helping couples and individuals involves coming along-side and helping clients become more aware of their deeper emotions by helping to take them experientially into those emotions. This expanded awareness creates a deeper sense of wholeness as clients become more and more aware of their deeper selves. It then opens the door to understanding the ways they have coped over the years and more importantly discovering new ways of dealing with what is at the core of it all - our longing to be in secure loving relationships - in a way that feels in harmony with who they are at the core of their being. My approach assumes that we are not broken and in need of repair but rather have developed very understandable ways of coping with our world and the 'hand we have been dealt'. Helping couples achieve a safe relationship and deeper intimacy is a major focus of my work. I use the best validated and most effective couples therapy in the world. It is called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT has become the dominant method of couples therapy having been relentlessly researched and proven in more research that any other form of therapy in existence. The research has shown not only extremely high satisfaction rates among couples but also a very low rate of relapsing back into old patterns.
More Info About My Practice
So you are curious about EFT and want to know more! EFT was developed by Sue Johnson over the last 30 years and has been researched extensively with 17 outcome-based studies - more, many more than any other form of couples therapy. This research may be accessed on the main EFT website: (ICEEFT.com) under 'Therapist Resources - EFT Articles'. Sue has also written two books for the population at large - Hold Me Tight and Love Sense, which I highly recommend.
What are some of the premises of EFT? Several of the underlying cornerstones of EFT come from Attachment Theory that was developed by John Bowlby in the 60s. One is that we as humans are innately wired for connection with a secure person. When we have this secure attachment - someone to whom we can reach for support and find them to be emotionally available to us, we have a more positive empowered sense of self which enables us to become more risk-taking in the world.
This need for a secure other is a need we have from the cradle to the grave. We never outgrow it. EFT research has found that most couples in distress get into a fairly predictable dance - a dance that doesn't depend on what the topic of conversation is but which rather repeats itself regardless of the content. In the most common dance, the Protest Polka, one partner who is very sensitive to feeling the relational distance pursues their partner in an increasingly blaming manner. The other, feeling threatened by this, withdraws from the relationship in order to preserve safety. But this withdrawal further triggers their partner to increase the intensity of their pursuit-sending them into an unstable loop that keeps escalating.
In the first phase of therapy, I help a couple deescalate this dance and create a safer place for their relationship to exist. Once this safety has been established (the couple is able to recognize the dance and exit from it) we enter the second phase of therapy where each person learns to reach to the other for their emotional needs to be met, and the other learns to be responsive to that need. This creates a secure and lasting bond between the couple which is probably why EFT therapy has such a low relapse rate.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I specialize in helping couples build a strong and intimate bond.