FIXING WHAT’S BROKEN
Mending What’s Torn
NO ONE goes to their wedding thinking, “Wow, I can hardly wait to get divorced!” (Well, practically no one — I’m not sure about Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian.)
Everyone wants a safe and secure relationship. But what happens is that two people frequently fall into a pattern of relating with each other that causes them to feel anything but safe and secure. When these patterns get entrenched for a long time, feelings of being lonely, misunderstood, unloved or criticized take over the entire relationship, driving the two of them further and further apart.
In the couples counseling that I do, which is called Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, I help you see and understand the pattern you are stuck in, then learn to interrupt the pattern, and finally change the pattern into a way of relating that brings you the closeness, happiness, security and intimacy you really want.
Why Emotionally Focused Therapy?
Because it’s all about emotions, isn’t it? A marriage or relationship isn’t a business. In fact, one of the most common complaints I hear is “We’re just roommates” or “We’re just co-parents” or “It’s like we’re business partners — we’re good at managing the household together.” Even people who think emotional expression is highly overrated still want their life partner, the person they come home to every night, to feel close to them, to like –and preferably love–them. And deep down even they would agree that they want to feel close and connected to their partner too.
This isn’t about men becoming more “sensitive,” more emotionally like women. This is about the fundamental basic human biological drive to feel connected to someone. You either feel lovingly connected to each other or you don’t — and if you don’t, no amount of problem-solving or negotiating is going to make much of a difference.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples or EFT is a proven method for helping two people find their way back to each other. In 20 years of effectiveness research, EFT has been shown to help up to 75 percent of couples move from “distress” to “recovery.” What’s more, six-month and two-year follow-up studies have shown that most couples who have successfully gone through EFT continue to improve in their marital satisfaction after therapy is over.
Currently, Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples is being used at the Baltimore VA Medical Center for returning Iraq combat veterans and their spouses, and with active-duty redeployed U.S. army soldiers and their spouses. EFT has proved effective in helping couples when one of the partners has suffered psychological trauma, including the trauma of war.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re straight or gay, into championship figure skating or pro wrestling, or if you’re from Mars or Venus – if you were born on Earth and you and your partner need help to find your way back to each other, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy was created for you.
“I was ready to end our marriage of almost 50 years because Dave was communicating with other women online. He had been unfaithful to me several times earlier in our marriage. Dave found Larry and it was stroke of pure luck. First Larry saw David alone, and then mostly with both of us. I can’t tell you how comfortable he made both of us feel, and yet he helped each of us work through our issues with the kindness and support we both needed. Over about six months, we worked with Larry as he guided us to what I had thought could never happen: a much stronger, healthier, happier, and more loving relationship. Larry was non-judgmental, but amazingly able to help us to express our feelings and our needs and to help us work together toward what we really wanted, creating a much better marriage. Both of us are extremely grateful for Larry’s caring approach and his expertise.”
“My husband and I came to Larry one year ago in a last ditch effort to save our marriage. We could not even say “hello” to one another without fighting. With Larry’s knack for bringing out peoples’ underlying feelings we are falling back in love after working with him for the past year. In addition, Larry has unlocked all of my most pressing psychological issues. He has been able to liberate me from them in a way that twenty years of therapy has not been able to do. I cannot reiterate how talented this man is. I owe my marriage and my sanity to the help that Larry was willing to give us.”
E.C., 34, accountant