Times have changed. Couples are under more stress than ever before. This is often due to our busy lifestyles. Before you call the divorce lawyer, you might consider asking for help.
A trained Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist (EFT) can help you when you are stuck.
Many people feel ashamed or uncertain about what initial contact or first sessions might look like, so here’s what to expect…
In my couples therapy practice I have a tried and true recipe for starting out with a new couple. The first four sessions are about seeing where you are at on the relationship map, and together setting an intention as a couple. At this stage there is no focus on the outcome and no pressure.
The first session is about seeing if we are a good match to work together. We talk about where you are on the relationship map and where you have gotten “stuck” as a couple. Couples often feel relieved after this first session because they realise that this is normal for many couples. The EFT model also provides a possible way forward.
The second session is with one of you; and session three is an individual session with the other. This helps me to understand how to work with you. We look at it what you learned about relationships in your early life and we also clarify what stressors are affecting your relationship now.
In the fourth session we meet together and I give you some reflective feedback about what I have heard and seen. (If there are issues such as drug or alcohol abuse or current affairs we talk about what needs to happen first in order for us to be safe to commence the couples work). You decide as a couple whether you want to return and what you want to work on changing.
It is best to see your relationship as my client, rather than two individual people. This helps clients to feel fairly treated and like I am on their side as a team. I do not coach, mediate or judge! Instead we look at the negative patterns which have become established. We then work to create new patterns which strengthen the emotional bond. This makes the relationship happier and more stable.
I am often humbled and hugely appreciative of the hard work and the gains which couples achieve. There is nothing like coming from disconnection to reconnection and knowing that you are safe to work through whatever life challenges you with - together.
You can contact Yve at www.yvegould.co.nz or on Facebook at Yve Gould Therapist; or www.emotionallyfocusedtherapy.co.nz for ‘Conversations for Connection’ weekend workshop for couples.
Supplied by Yve Gould, Couples’ Therapist, Psychotherapist