The 3rd in our Wednesday series of TTC Talks@1 was an introduction to Couples Therapy presented by Kate West. Here Rose Gardner, Therapy Clinic Director, summarises what we learnt.
“In a little over a quarter of an hour Kate managed to synthesise the key elements of her work with couples – in particular giving us a comprehensive introduction to the Emotionally Focussed Therapy approach (EFT).
Starting with inviting us to consider the question ‘What is Love?’ Kate went on to give a synopsis of attachment theory as the ‘science of love’ which underpins EFT and provides the theoretical framework guiding the therapeutic work. Kate explained the way in which the EFT model takes the basic human need for emotional proximity and a safe haven as being at the heart of all intimate relationships and how understanding the basic strategies we adopt in response to the threat of loss and separation is at the heart of the EFT therapeutic approach.
The aim is to enable couples to move beyond conflict or impasse and blame towards a deeper understanding of how their own and their partner’s different emotional responses are both attempts to deal with the same basic fear – ie of emotional isolation. Kate explained how working to enable each partner to identify and express their underlying emotions is the key to therapeutic change – and how in this respect in-vivo work in the sessions is often incredibly powerful and moving as couples come to hear each other in a very different way.”