My Approach to Couples Therapy: Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy
Updated: Feb 8
Our relationships throughout life shape who we are as relational beings. Whether early parent-child dynamics, early romantic experiences or current relationships, our relational roots have influence. These experiences have sometimes met our deepest needs, and other times displayed what we wish to never experience again. Sometimes they provided warmth, comfort, and security. Other times they revealed someone’s first experiences of rejection, isolation, and pain. All of these experiences comprise who we are as relational beings.
While I believe the transformation in couples therapy happens between the partners involved, awareness of previous experiences can set the stage for this transformation, building readiness to have new relational experiences.
Often times, partners come to couples therapy feeling stuck. Stuck in conflict, stuck in fear, stuck in reactions that aren’t shifting anything. In these stuck places, there is usually more going on than one might notice at the moment. While stuck places can feel deeply uncomfortable, there are times when they have a lot to show us- what we long for, where we hurt, where we need tenderness, or what we fear.
Using an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy approach, I help partners explore these moments in particular. By mining these moments, I guide partners to slow things down, explore underlying emotion, and explore the deep needs that partners may be either unaware of, or unaware of how to navigate.
When partners are able to build not only internal awareness of their own emotions and needs in moments of conflict but also to gain awareness of the emotions and needs of their partner, transformation can happen. What was once a place of rigidity and coldness can become the place where deep connection occurs.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. See her website for more information by clicking here
Krissy Mulpeter is a Couples and Individual Therapist in Eugene, Oregon. Read more about her here.