Couples Therapy, Couples Counseling McLean VA
Researchers consistently find connections to others create mental and physical well-being; we’re wired for connection, so there’s a reason you feel so awful when you and your partner fight— close relationships provide a buffer from stress, make us resilient, and soothe us: when we experience disconnection from our loved ones we lose our sense of security.
Couples often come into their first session asking for help with communicating or saying they feel stuck, that they wish their fighting would stop or they wish they could move past the same argument. Sometimes a partner has been blindsided by a betrayal or sometimes there is a rift between a couple so deep they feel they’re living separate lives. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is different than other types of therapy; it goes deeper than just teaching how to talk to each other and negotiate; it gets to the root of things, the underlying emotions and the cycle of conflict or avoidance—or both—that gets created and perpetuated and leaves couples stuck.
EFT removes blame and conceptualizes a relationship as a process that happens between two souls, each having a life-altering impact on the other. We help you change your process and heal relationship wounds that may still seem very alive even though they may have happened many years ago.
EFT’s foundation is attachment theory, one of the most important theories about what it is to be human and in relationship with others. The idea is that we start learning from the moment we’re born about the safety or the danger of being close to others, whether we can rely on others or whether we’ll have to just rely on ourselves if others are too unreliable: we take all this into our adult relationships. Our attachment experiences create our understanding of ourselves, form our beliefs about whether we’re worthy of love and connection, and have a profound influence on our romantic relationships.
EFT is validated by more than three decades of research that shows 70-75 percent of couples who complete EFT move from distress to recovery and 90 percent show significant improvement.
What to expect in Couples Therapy?
EFT starts with an initial assessment session with both partners, then a session with each partner to get an individual history, then we all meet again and work together, usually weekly for about an hour. We look at the cycle and explore the multiple layers of feelings, assumptions, and longings that fuel it, then work to create a new cycle. I help partners be safe for each other and restore or establish stability and safety and build trust.
When couples start to create a new cycle, they’ll often tell me that they get along better than they ever have and sometimes even say they feel like they’re in a new relationship. EFT is powerful for couples who commit to it.
When is it time to seek couples therapy?
- If you feel like you’re having the same arguments and not getting anywhere
- If you feel alone and misunderstood
- If you feel confused by your relationship
- If you feel disconnected from your partner
- If you feel betrayed by your partner