Are you stuck in patterns of criticism, blame, and emotional distancing?
Are you and your partner struggling to communicate?
Do you feel that you and your partner have become distant?
Do you want to have greater communication and understanding with your partner?
Has there been a trust violation and you or your partner are having difficulty recovering?
Couples therapy can help!
From the time we are born, we all seek to connect. Our most significant experiences of connection with others elicit some of our most important emotions – joy, delight, surprise, curiosity, and love when we feel connected…or pain, fear, sadness, grief, and shame when we do not. Paradoxically, the ways we’ve learned to cope with the pain of disconnection can often move us even further away from our partner. I help couples slow down and unpack these moments of disconnection & pain to repair and strengthen the bonds of intimacy & closeness and promote emotional safety, trust & openness.
Working from an approach known as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), clients learn to identify disruptive patterns that include, blaming, criticizing, defensiveness, expressions of contempt, and emotional or physical distancing. By working to identify the negative patterns of behavior that led to the loss of the emotional bond, each individual learns to build trust and form a secure base to reach out to one another. Once the negative cycle is identified, the couple can begin to rebuild the safety and trust necessary to have a deep connection and satisfying relationship.
What is EFT?
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be highly effective in helping distressed couples improve their relationship and deepen their bond.
EFT starts with the foundation that people are inherently social beings, and that we are “hardwired” to create and maintain strong emotional ties with our partner and loved ones. This biological truth helps us understand how powerfully attached we are to our partners and how fully we rely on our partners for comfort and support. This is healthy attachment, and it helps us be stronger and bolder in the world. It means we need our partner to be accessible, responsive, and engaged.
EFT understands distress in relationships as centered in the loss of secure emotional connection. When this happens, a negative cycle or “dance” develops as each partner tries to cope with the loss of connection. In these negative cycles, couples respond with anger, criticism, distancing, silence, or relationship distractions, to name a few common responses. Once established, these negative cycles happen over the slightest issues, and over time are corrosive to the bonds of trust and security in the relationship.
EFT aims to help couples stop these negative cycles by first identifying and mapping out this cycle, then helping partners identify and articulate their needs to each other in a way that helps their partner to have greater understanding, compassion and empathy. In turn, each partner can then express a more loving, compassionate response.
EFT allows couples to experience one another in new ways that powerfully transform their relationships.
How effective is EFT?
The effectiveness of EFT has been well substantiated by more than 30 years of rigorous research. It is now considered one of the most (if not the most) empirically supported forms of couples therapy.
EFT outcome research is quite remarkable. Studies have found that 70-75% of couples undergoing EFT successfully move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% show significant improvements! Studies also consistently show excellent follow-up results, and some studies show that significant progress continues even after therapy has stopped.
There is also some neuroscience suggesting that EFT can actually change some aspects of brain functioning. For example, an FMRI study shows that EFT changes the way contact with a partner mediates the effect of threat on the brain. A short video, Soothing the Threatened Brain, summarizing this study can be viewed on www.drsuejohnson.com/videos.
EFT research shows that change does indeed occur in the way that the theory suggests. This level of linkage between in-session process and rigorous outcome measurement is unusual in the field of psychotherapy.
Are all couples therapists EFT-trained?
No- therapists must first meet certain standards in order to qualify for training in EFT (e.g., having a graduate a graduate degree from an accredited institution and a license to practice mental health care.). Then, therapists must complete very intensive training in accordance to the standards of the ICEEFT- the international body for EFT. Only after completing this training can a therapist call him/herself EFT-trained.
At present, FSHN is the only clinic in Kuwait that has an EFT-trained psychologist.
How many sessions will it take?
EFT is considered a brief treatment and typically requires about 20 sessions of weekly therapy. Of course every couple if different and some couples report improvement more quickly and others take longer. Some couples really enjoy ongoing sessions and continue for periodic sessions even after they’ve met their treatment goals.
What about diversity and multicultural issues?
We recognize and respect that there is a lot of diversity among couples and relationships and they come in all shapes and sizes. Thus, we see couples of all types. We aim to create an environment of inclusion, safety, and respect for all couples.
EFT is a humanistic approach that is collaborative, nonjudgmental, and respectful. We create a safe place for people and treat them as persons not problems or with labels. This approach is non-pathologizing in practice. As a result, EFT is also highly sensitive to multicultural differences in relationships types and it is being used around the world.
EFT can also help couples dealing with additional complexities such as one or both partners suffering from mental health disorders, sexual dysfunction, infertility, new parents, problems with extended family, and chronic illness. EFT has proven to be a powerful approach for couples dealing with infidelity or other traumatic incidents.
The scientific and theoretical base of EFT suggests that there is universal need for human connection, yet in practice, it respects diversity and individual differences.
What other type of couples counseling services do you offer?
Premarital Counseling: Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage/a committed relationship. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying commitment/marriage. The process involves a thorough assessment of your relationship styles, personal values, communication styles, and strength of your bond. Typically pre-marital counseling lasts about 5 sessions.
Couples Checkup: A couples checkup consists of 4 sessions and focuses on a comprehensive evaluation of your relationship including your strengths, growth areas, communication styles, expressions of love, conflict cycles, and the depth of your relationship bond. Couples will be given specific recommendations for improving their relationship. This service can be useful for dating, engaged, or married couples.
Brief Consultations: Individuals and couples can meet with our EFT-trained psychologist for a brief 50-minute consultation to discuss your relationship concerns and receive specific recommendations going forward.
How do I get started?
Easy- just call 2572-0339 or email Dr. Nicholas Scull at email@example.com.
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