Couples Counselling using Emotionally Focused Therapy

when we were first together you made me feel so specialIn this article: 

Discover how to relationship counselling can help you speak differently to each other.

Recognise the common themes that occur in arguments and see how emotionally focused therapy helps couples to speak authentically and work through difficulties.

Made up yet typical extract at the beginning of relationship counselling:

Man: "You say I just want sex, but that is not true. I just feel like giving up when you say that , like we are doomed. How can it ever work?"

Woman: " I don't really know. But if you would just calm down and be less demanding. I just move away to stop the fights. I think it is better if we don't get caught in these's easier that way"

Man: "How can things be 'easy' when we never make love, when you are never close to me ? Tell me that. It's like everything else comes first with you, but my feelings..they never count. You just focus on the event, like all I want is an orgasm. But that is not all I want. I want to feel close to you - desired- like I am important you. But first comes the kids, then the house, then your job, and then maybe if there is time left - maybe us."

Woman:"I just get that whatever I do I will never be good enough for you, I am a big I just give up. I  shut down. It doesn't feel safe anymore. I am not sexy enough for you, not warm enough - just not enough"

Same Couple a number of sessions later - illustrating how the speaking honestly about feelings and needs helps.

Woman: " I am starting to feel safer here. Like I am not on trial all the time. I just give up when I feel that, I just shut down and go numb. I am starting to get that we both get scared and insecure and then we don't know how to reassure each other." I want this relationship and you are important to me - very important. I feel lonely too, you know. I just want to feel held sometimes, and talked to, paid attention to- not always asked to make love. Then I just feel I am a route to orgasm, not that you want me." "when we were first together you made me feel like I was so special - so precious. I miss that-I do. But know you seem so mad at me all the time"

Man:"I know. I get desperate - I feel like I am losing you - so I guess I come on all furious and pushy. But really it's just because I am so unsure of us-of you. And it's pretty risky to tell you this - I guess it's easier to demand to make love."

I'm sure some of this extract will resonate with couples. It shows how couples misunderstand each other and blame each other. The man and the woman both have their own realities on what is going on, both are which are valid. They both long to have a feeling of love and secure emotional connection.

The first extract shows the themes of abandonment, rejection and the lack of safety that comes from feeling that your partner doesn't prioritise you. The 2nd extract shows the risks involved in reaching out. The fear of asking for what you need. The fear of expressing vulnerability and building an emotional bond by sharing how important your partner is to you.

Emotionally focused therapy

Emotionally focused therapy in couples counselling helps the man and the woman identify the patterns of blame and where the misunderstandings are. They begin to appreciate their own and their partner's vulnerability and to be able to speak a deeper truth of what they are feeling and needing. Emotionally Focused Therapy in couples counselling shows couples that love comes from feeling that your partner is emotionally available to you, that want is important can be shared and received and that you are special and important to them. It teaches you how to communicate what's important.

Click below to share this page