Couples counseling may sound like something we would only be interested in if a relationship were failing; in fact, it is the single greatest tool that can prevent it from doing so.
Grounded in the theory and process of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), we approach couples counseling through an attachment lens. We believe that when couples fall in love they become securely emotionally attached. And that’s a good thing. Attachment helps us feel we are known, heard, understood. We feel emotionally safe. When this attachment is threatened through relationship strife of any kind, the fear of losing this safe feeling can become overwhelming. When we are overwhelmed, we reach for certain coping patterns we have known all our lives (we shut down and get quiet or we lean in and fight). These coping styles can wind up pushing us farther apart and a painful cycle ensues.
The couple therapist becomes the wise observer and broker, allowing each person to express feelings in an organized fashion. They can see things through the eyes of both parties but never take either of their sides.
If a decision has been taken to end the relationship, our therapists can also be helpful in helping to negotiate a graceful and kindly ending, one that honors the best sides of the relationship.
We believe helping couples is so important and the problems are so complex that we only scheduled couples at our Columbia and Lexington offices with our therapists who have taken in depth trainings in EFT and have committed themselves to ongoing study and consultation in this specific area.