Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? -Henry David Thoreau
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT)
I use Emotionally Focused Therapy in my work with couples. EFT is a powerful attachment-based model developed by Dr. Sue Johnson that is the only couples therapy model that has research documenting its effectiveness as well as showing that gains made are sustained over the long term.
EFT is effective because it targets our fundamental need for a safe connection with our partner. When this need is unmet due to distress in a relationship, partners usually respond in ways that reflect the distress, but unfortunately may create more conflict. In EFT, we learn to identify the emotional responses that have created behaviors contributing to a negative pattern of interaction between the partners. By learning about these feelings and related behaviors, partners are able to understand what is going on for themselves and their partner. This builds empathy, safety and allows for a much deeper emotional connection as partners begin to reach for each other with compassion and vulnerability that reshapes their attachment bond. By rebuilding the attachment "foundation" of the relationship, the problematic negative cycles are replaced by positive interactions.
EFT is so effective because the most current neuroscience research show that physiologically we are "wired for connection": our nervous systems are basically programmed to seek safe connection with another. When we have this safe connection, we feel more confident and content in our lives and are able to thrive and experience joy. In EFT, partners are actually are helping to change each others' brains to be able to feel safer not only in the relationship, but in the world.
EFT helps with all kinds of couples with all kinds relationship challenges. It is effective in healing traumas that happened within the relationship and also ones that preceded it.
You can read more about EFT at www.iceeft.com.
Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul. --John O'Donohue
What past clients are saying:
Working with Heather and just knowing Heather is feeling and knowing that I had all the support, kindness, and loving honesty I needed to keep moving forward, regardless of how frustrated and lost I may have felt at the time. She became such a source of comfort as I navigated many emotional battles, both in my marriage and in my relationship with myself. I had so many expectations when I walked into the room with Heather for the first time. But as I walked out I knew that Heather would be the perfect person to walk me (and my husband!) through the rigors of finding and choosing peace despite conflict. I always felt important and valued and safe even while she gently helped me examine places of hurt and anger. When we moved away, I felt desperate not having Heather in our weekly lives. But she had given me all the tools I needed to keeping moving forward. I use all the knowledge she gave to examine the cycle of conflict in my marriage; I use that knowledge daily to not only improve my relationship with my husband but to improve my relationship with myself. Her insights and her help are truly invaluable. She was a special partner in my journey. -LA