Sunday, May 3, 2015

Emotional Focused Couples Therapy

Theoretical Foundations
Attachment and EFT• Seeking and maintaining contact with others is primary motivating principle in human beings.
• Secure contact is an innate survival mechanism.
• Building blocks of secure attachment are emotional accessibility and responsiveness.
• When security of bond is threatened, attachment behaviors are activated.
• Individual differences in attachment styles:
• Secure: self is viewed as basically lovable and others are viewed as generally reliable and responsive. Expectations are positive and foster development of trust and closeness.
• Anxious: uncertainty as to lovable-ness of self and the legitimacy of attachment needs, which renders dependency on others as uncertain.
• Avoidant fearful: distrust of others and corresponding desire to limit any dependency on them, based in fear.
• Avoidant dismissing: distrust of others and corresponding desire to limit any dependency on them, based on inadequacy.
Styles are predispositions to organize perceptions and responses in particular ways in intimate relationships
At any time in a relationship the quality of attachment will be the result of partner’s attachment predispositions and present interactions that mediate the effects of such dispositions.
It is important to note that styles are not viewed simply as maps or sets of expectations for relationships. They also imply ways of processing attachment information, influencing whether or not partners can readily access, process, and coherently communicate attachment information.

Experiential and EFT• People actively process and construct their experience in interactions.
• The power of therapist’s empathy and validation create a positive context for exploration and creation of new experiences.
• Human beings have a capacity for growth and positive adaptive ness of emotional responses and needs.
Therapist must:
• Focus and reflect on partner’s emotional experience
• Validate and accept experience.
• Attune to and empathetically explore experience.
• Expand client’s experience by process questions.
• Direct client to engage in a task that fosters a new kind of processing experience.

Systemic and EFT• Power of context
• Focus on structure and process of interaction.
• Negative interactional cycles couples generate are self maintaining.
• Focus on circular rather than linear causality.
• The EFT therapist direct and choreographs new interactions, which evoke new emotional responses in the partners.

The power of context. Each partner’s behavior is seen in the context of, and as a response to, the other’s behavior. Each partner also is seen as in some sense creating the responses of the other, often without any awareness of how this occurs.

There is a constant focus on the structure and process of interaction, that is, on how such interaction is organized. Degrees of closeness/distance and dominance/submission are monitored and made explicit.

The rigid negative interactional cycles distressed couples generate are seen as self-maintaining and as a primary factor in the deterioration of the relationship

There is a focus on circular rather than linear causality. This lends itself to a focus on patter and sequence and how elements in an interactional pattern reciprocally determine each other, as in “I withdraw because you nag, and you nag because I withdraw.”