If you were to listen to popular media you might think long-term relationships are usually doomed to failure. However, research doesn’t support such negativity. Yes, relationships are difficult and many fail, but there is hope.

Unfortunately, many approaches to couples counseling focus on communication skills and examining the “power” balance¬† of the relationship. These approaches do have a high failure rate. More recent studies indicate therapy approaches that are “emotionally focused” tend to produce higher rates of satisfaction among couples. Emotionally focused therapy, or EFT, not only attempts to improve communication between partners but also to help partners understand their own and their partners’ emotional reactions to problems and conflicts. Through this understanding partners are able to take responsibility for their own emotions and are more able to accept their partners’ emotions and not take them personally. EFT also attempts to help couples rediscover the emotional attractions that brought them together and that helped form their original bond.

My approach with couples is to start with the emotions and connections involved in the relationship. To do this, I encourage couples to develop curiosity about their own emotions, and about their partner’s emotions.
If your relationship needs help, please call me at 202.505.1848, or send me an e-mail at michael@mmcpsychotherapy.com.