Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: The Negative Cycle, Part II

In my last blog, I focused on the behavior and perception aspects of the negative cycle, as described in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). This post will focus emotions and needs. My goal is that this provides some useful information or a jumping off point for exploring your own cycles. For many couples, working with a therapist is incredibly useful in the process of flushing out negative cycles and undergoing the changing necessary to develop a cycle that promotes closeness and connection. I also highly recommend the book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson.

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Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: The Negative Cycle

This month on the blog, I am going to share core concepts related to the form of couples therapy that I utilize in sessions- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). You can see a previous blog for an overview of the model.

The concept of a negative cycle is central to EFT. The negative cycle is the pattern of the interaction that has developed between partners- the cycle includes behaviors, perceptions, emotions, and needs for each partner. I am going to focus on behaviors and perceptions in this blog, and will focus on emotions and needs in the next blog. Each of these cycle components interact and create a feedback loop.

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Recognizing Progress During the Process

It can be difficult to realize the growth and progress you have had when you don’t perceive yourself as having “arrived” at the destination. While I’d argue that growth and development are lifelong processes, many people begin therapy with specific changes they would like to make; they have an end goal in mind, and it can get easy to dismiss or overlook the progress and changes that occur on the way to this end goal. So what are some things to look for?

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How to Start Therapy

I get questions about this all the time! How do I start therapy? How do I find a therapist? How much does it cost? What happens in therapy? Finding a therapist that is a good fit and starting therapy can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience, particularly if this is your first time doing so. Like so many things, the first steps in this process can be some of the hardest (although therapy is often hard work, too).  Here are some basic steps to keep in mind if you are interested in starting therapy!

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