What type of marriage counseling and family therapy do I offer?
I am trained in both structural family therapy and emotionally focused therapy for couples.
Structural family therapy is often used with child--parent presenting problems and is also used frequently with blended family situations. Structural family therapy helps identify family interactions by identifying the organization of that family setting. The primary assumption and foundation of this model is to identify family structure and the subsystems that are formed through the level of authority and boundaries. The main objective of this therapy is to help family members understand how they can learn to better solve problems with greater understanding of their interactions.
Usually with couples I utilize an emotionally focused approach to working with couples as advanced by Susan Johnson who wrote the bestseller "Hold me Tight". Emotionally Focused therapy (EFT), also known as Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT-C) is an empirically supported humanistic treatment that arose out of emotion theory and attachment theory. It views emotions as centrally important in the experience of self, in both adaptive and maladaptive functioning, and in therapeutic change. From the EFT perspective change occurs by means of awareness, regulation, reflection, and transformation of emotion taking place within the context of an empathetically attuned relationship. EFT works on the basic principle that people must first arrive at a place before they can leave it. Therefore, in EFT an important goal is to arrive at the live experience of a maladaptive emotion (e.g., fear and shame) in order to transform it. The transformation comes from the client accessing a new primary adaptive emotional state in the session.Core emotions of attachment and fears of loss of attachment arise deep in the brain. The deeper into the brain one goes the less it is available to the fast pace of everyday awareness. We believe that basic attachment issues are underneath negative cycles of interactions. Today, EFT is one of the most empirically validated types of couple’s therapy. There is significant research on this approach and it has been found that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery, and that 90% show significant improvements. These results appear to be less susceptible to relapse than those from other approaches. As such, EFT-C is an evidence based treatment protocol.