Emotionally Focused Therapy

Do you feel alone in your relationship?

Have you felt lost not knowing how to connect with your partner?

Is it hard for you to express what you need, end up getting hurt and feel resentment is building up?

Has “the spark” seemed to have vanished from your romance?

Have you been betrayed and feel it’s impossible to trust again?

Did you hurt your spouse and now you don’t know how to gain his/her trust again?

You are not the only one!  Many couples struggle with managing their thoughts and feelings, and often these difficulties turn into disagreements, heated arguments, and emotional distance.

This is why I offer Emotion-Focused Therapy, or EFT, a model of psychotherapy that specifically targets emotional and developmental issues to help free your mind and empower your relationship.  EFT is typically offered for couples, and so much of my couples and marital counseling is centered on this method of treatment.

What is EFT?

EFT is a relational approach to couples’ therapy that focuses on feelings, communication, emotional bonding, and trust.  EFT is used in couples and family therapy settings to help people understand the roots of their struggles based on their needs and hopes for the relationship.  Through EFT treatment, clients can learn psychological skills and develop insight about themselves and others, thereby bringing them closer to their personal and relational goals.

EFT is a lot like learning how to dance.

When our relationship is fine, we can dance freely, play and try new moves. But when there’s conflict, our dance moves become restrictive, limiting and rigid. It’s the same dance, the same moves. Over and over.

Emotional Focused Therapy

Fortunately, it repeats so often and with the same moves, in the same places that we can map it. We can understand what goes on, develop a map, and find a way out of that negative dance. It’s very important to understand the emotions underneath the steps.  We need to recognize the vulnerable emotions that drive those steps, that dance.

If you can change how you see the dance, not get totally caught up in your own experience, resentment or vulnerability, you can acknowledge your mutual vulnerability and change the dance.

Now an entire new dialog opens up. New safer moves are surprisingly possible. Both of you help each other with your softer feelings and everything feels safer. Simple. But hard if you are not used to looking at the dance – the pattern between you.

You have to step back and see the dance or you are both married to The Rejecter and that is living in a lot of pain.

EFT teaches you how to change your negative dance.

As people go through life, they often face difficulties with themselves and others that make them believe they are just not cut out for this – that they aren’t any good at dancing.  They feel unappreciated, worthless, and hopeless, and they begin to believe they are unlovable or broken.

EFT is designed to teach you and your partner how to understand your emotional and psychological dance, apply skills and techniques to improve relational outcomes, and add some rhythm back into your life.  You, your partner, and your therapist will meet in a safe, confidential setting where the focus is on preparing you for your emotional dance.

Many of our relational habits are rooted in childhood experiences of attachment and trust (or the lack thereof).  As you learn how to understand and express your emotions effectively, you will also learn how relationships have influenced your psychological self.

If you or a loved one struggles with expression of emotion, vulnerability, trust, or woundedness from past relationships, do not wait and hope for things to resolve on their own.  I can help.  Contact me today and learn how you can restore your relationship through EFT.

What does EFT help treat?

EFT is designed to treat a wide range of issues at all levels of severity – everything from life stressors, such as losing a job or moving to a new place, to acute psychosocial disorders, such as anxiety and depression.  Here are a few examples of what EFT can help with:

  • Loss of intimacy and trust in relationships
  • Feeling alone and not knowing how to connect with your spouse
  • Lack of communication skills
  • Betrayal or rejection in relationships
  • Conflict or arguing between couples
  • Healing attachment injuries
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

EFT is a broad, dynamic treatment method that can be applied to so many different issues.  If you are considering Emotion-Focused Therapy for yourself, your child, or your relationship, feel free to contact me!  Asking for help can sometimes be difficult, but I know that I am here for you.

How does EFT work?

As the name suggests, Emotion-Focused Therapy homes in on the system of thoughts and feelings associated with emotional states, reactions, and interactions.

EFT posts that our experience of the world is grounded in our attachment styles, or the way that we tend to relate with others, as well as our beliefs about ourselves.  As you begin Emotion-Focused psychotherapy for your problems, you will spend some time parsing out these foundational aspects of your psychological self.  You will learn to identify needs of closeness, boundaries, safety, and more as you talk about your experiences in relationship.  This will allow you and your therapist to better understand how you see the world and where your blind spots may be.

Once this has been identified, you and your therapist will begin to look at your default emotional processes.  For example, do you tend to get angry and argue in conflict, or do you typically withdraw and “clam up”?  This will also involve a great deal of enhancing your emotional vocabulary, thereby allowing you to more effectively express your thoughts and feelings.

You will also begin to discover how you understand and interpret the actions of others.  For example, when someone suddenly becomes quiet, do you view that as defensive and angry, or that they feel awkward and uncertain?  You and your therapist will identify helpful and unhelpful interpretation patterns, thereby allowing you to more accurately assess what happens in social interactions.

Finally, EFT spends a great deal of treatment fleshing out the reactions and interactions of your thoughts and emotions in relationships.  When your spouse says or does certain things, how do you react?  And, how does your spouse respond in turn?  This process uses a fairly formulaic approach to help you gain insight regarding complex relational dynamics.  Over time, you will begin to learn how to effectively have your needs met and enhance your relational satisfaction.

If you or a loved one are interested in trying or learning more about Emotion-Focused Therapy, please let me know!  I provide individual therapy for kids and adults, as well as couples and family counseling services for people from all over the Aurora and Denver Colorado area!  To contact me, select Contact at the menu bar above.

How can Vanessa Richards help?

Sometimes it can be difficult to ask for help.  Do not let your fears and sadness continue to keep you from living a happy, healthy life.  Contact me today and learn how we can get you closer to a place of wellbeing!

I provide evidence-based psychotherapy for children, couples, and families.  I work particularly well with Hispanic/Latino families, as I am able to identify cultural nuances and (quite literally) speak the language.  My treatment is the product of many years of study and experience, and I have helped many people just like you!

I am skilled in multiple modalities of treatment, with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy) and EFT (Emotion-Focused Therapy) being some of my specialties. As a Hispanic woman, I understand the effects and challenges of navigating a different culture and system. I would love to have the opportunity to meet you and hear your story.

If you have experienced pain in relationships, I can help you find the healing and restoration you deserve. I specialize in helping bilingual couples connect, restore intimacy and be vulnerable with each other.  You can have wounds from childhood or later in life that affect and create havoc in your relationship. You don’t have to let your pain and your fears continue to overwhelm you.

We can do this, together.

Interested? Let’s work together.

Great!  I am excited to get to know you and learn about your story.

To contact me, fill out the Contact form below or click on Contact at the top menu!

To learn more about me, click on About Me!