Imagine This Scenario
Melanie and Jake have been married for 10 years.
Melanie begins a therapy session by describing the couple’s most recent fight: “I was getting the kids ready for bed, and I asked Jake to give Nathan a bath. But he said we should just skip the bath, which is the exact reason I never ask for help. It’s ridiculous! He never helps me.”
Jake responds, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! You are making me look like I was refusing to help because I did not feel like it. It was almost 9 pm. The kids had not been outside that day. I honestly thought they needed sleep more than a bath.”
As a therapist, it can sometimes be a slippery slope between helping couples solve problems and getting stuck in the quagmire of stories and emotion.
Focusing on helping couples solve problems or simply listening to story after story does not get to the essence of the conflict, underlying attachment related needs and emotions, keeping therapists stuck in couples’ unchanging patterns. The couple needs our help going beyond the surface of problem-solving and listening into their deeper emotions for real change to occur.
We’ve created a free download: 3 Tools for Common Pitfalls in Couples Therapy, with three ways Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) can help therapists from getting stuck.