by guest blogger, Gretchen Harro, M.A., LMFT
As I was driving home from work the first day after a lovely, long vacation my thought was, “That could have gone better.” My client sessions hadn’t been awful, but I had a sense of missed opportunities, of not being as active and engaged with clients as…as what? As I want to be, as I need to be to be effective, as they deserve. What was missing? Even though I am a couples therapist who believes strongly in the effectiveness of Emotionally Focused Therapy I hadn’t taken time to remind myself of the basics of this model. While I was away, I had put aside thoughts of steps and stages, negative cycles, the importance of enactments and how to do them well. Going to work that day without reviewing the basics was like running a race without first warming up. I finished, but it wasn’t pretty.
So I made myself a list that I’d like to share with you:
The Most Fundamental Things (aka getting back into the EFT mindset after vacation):
· Present process. Focus on what is happening in the room right now. don’t get lost in the content of “catching up.”
· In a distressed relationship, the partner who has become a source of fear/disconnection is also the source of comfort, creating a back and forth uncertainty.
· It is the fear of reaching for the partner in moments of distress/disconnection that keep the negative cycle going.
· When there is pain in the room, validate, validate, validate, then bring them to the cycle. “This is what happens…” Make the blocks to connection explicit.
· Slow things down and work to help the client shift into primary emotion.
· Look for an opening for an enactment.
· Don’t come into any session with an expectation of what state the couple will be in. Be curious and ready for anything.
· Every session is an opportunity to help the couple have a great conversation with each other. Help couples be curious, too.
The 2018 EFT Externship is coming up in June! Don’t miss your opportunity to learn about this cutting edge treatment!