Sunday, April 19, 2015

Emotional Focused Couples Therapy

Process is a Journey
FROM• Alienation
• Vigilant Defense and Self Protection
• Passive Helplessness
• Desperate Blaming
• Focus on Flaws
TO• Emotional Engagement
• Openness and Risk Taking
• Sense of being able to actively create dance
• Sense of how each partner makes it difficult for the other to be responsive and caring
• Discovery of ones’ own fears and longings

The Process of ChangeStage 1: Cycle de-escalation
Stage 2: Withdrawer Engagement
Stage 3: Blamer softening

Cycle de-escalation is a first order change. The way interactions are organized remains the same, but the elements of the cycle are somewhat modified.
For example, the more withdrawn partner in a couple begins to risk more engagement in the relationship while the more hostile partner becomes less reactive and angry.

Withdrawer engagement is a second order change. There is change in the interactional position in terms of control and accessibility for contact. The withdrawn partner asserts needs rather than stonewalling and becomes more emotionally engaged

Blamer softening is also a second order change. The previously hostile and more active spouse risks expressing own attachment needs and vulnerabilities, allowing for interactions that challenge the trust level in the relationship.

These stages are interwoven and reciprocally determining. Once these change events have reorganized the couple’s interactions, prototypical bonding events can take place.