The purpose of the next series of posts is to share a number of add-ons to eft couples therapy that I have found helpful in treating an expanded range of couples with eft treatment. What I have in mind here are couples who present larger than usual challenges to eft therapy. Trauma situations, personality immaturities, alignments with narcissistic false self organization, rigid resistances to opening vulnerability, intransigent high conflict situations, and addictions are all situations that can deeply interfere with successful eft treatment. One caveat to begin with… though the roots of eft treatment are in short term therapy, all that follows presumes a long-term adaptation of eft treatment.
First a caveat… all of these additions to eft are directed towards the effective furtherance of the “eft tango,” which I and others view as the heart of eft couple’s treatment. (lay out the eft tango)
Text Communication To Couple A Few Days Following The Eft Session
Many couples in eft therapy struggle with holding onto the core message of eft sessions in the days following the session.Texting or phoning-in a “summarizing thought” in the days following the session, both helps lay in more deeply the underlying message of the session, and helps the couple more fully generalize the healing benefits of the session into their lives outside in the world. In addition, this brief communication following the sessions enables the therapist to more effectively tailor the therapeutic message to the particular resistances within the couple that were evident in the session. It provides a second opportunity for the therapist to refine their interventions address any piece of the therapeutic picture that they missed in the session.
The Individual Project
An essential aspect of eft work is to drill down within the couple to the core individual vulnerable feelings that underlay and drive the negative cycles in the marriage. To this process I add a clarifying conversation for both in the marriage; that it is important for each in the marriage to slowly formulate an individual psychological project that is their individual work to do… that will then feedback in a positive way to reducing negative cycles and enhance the marital attachment. It is my experience that this adds a dimension of individual responsibility to the therapy… that compliments the couples interactional healing forged in the eft tango process. The creation of the individual project sets up a powerful interactive process between couples attachment on the one hand and individual individuation on the other. This, in turn, deepens both… individuation deepening attachment, and attachment deepening individuation!
Review Of Session Tapes
Individual meetings with each partner have long been an aspect of emotion focused couples work. These episodic individual meetings, among other things, support a deepened conversation with each partner about the individual dynamics in the marriage… and enable guidance with respect to the individual projects. In addition, these meetings allow a listening review of recordings of the prior eft couples session. This review enables a highly granular look at exactly how the negative cycles unfold in the marriage (blow by blow) including a probing inquiry into what is happening individually while these cycles unfold. This is a vivid powerful process.