My Approach to Couples Therapy: Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy & Relational Life Therapy
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Our relationships throughout life shape who we are as partners. 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.
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 and possibly creating harm or disconnect. In these stuck places, there is usually more going on than one might notice at the moment. While stuck places can feel deeply uncomfortable, sometimes they have a lot to show us- what we long for, where we hurt, where we need tenderness, or what we fear.
Using an integrated approach of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy and Relational Life Therapy, I help partners explore these stuck places or, in other words, their conflict cycle. By mining these moments, I guide partners to slow things down, explore the emotional truth of what's happening, and make explicit the needs that partners may be either unaware of, or unaware of how to navigate. Then, we explore any relational history that may be playing a part before learning skills that help to create new relational experiences.
When partners are able to see both themselves and their partner in a new way, the opportunity for learning new skills and deepening intimacy begins. What was once a place of rigidity and reactivity can become the place where warmth, nuance, and deep connection occurs.
If you'd like to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with Krissy to find out more about her approach or how she could support you specifically, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Relational Life Therapy was developed by Terry Real. See his website for more information by clicking here.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. See her website for more information by clicking here.
Krissy Mulpeter specializes in couples therapy and works from Eugene, Oregon. Read more about her here.