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Emotionally Focused Couples Paper - Bshs 385

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Emotionally Focused Couples Paper



Emotionally Focused Couples Paper

      In this paper, the objective is to discuss the interview process for a therapy session, which focuses on Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and if the techniques of interviewing the couple were useful. The concentration will be on the effectiveness of the counselor’s interview skills and how her action’s reaction’s, responses, and gestures played a fundamental role in helping the couple feel validated and understood. The interview stage is essential in helping the couple become more self-aware of their feelings and how it affects their marriage. The interview process is critical in building a solid therapeutic foundation that will produce positive results in helping a client reach their optimal health and mental wellness. For this reason, the therapist needs to be educated and knowledge in effective communication and active listening skills.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

     Emotionally Focused Therapy is a technique used to help couples in intimate distress, or on the brink of divorce. Sue Johnson Ph.D., founder EFT hypotheses that pain in an intimate relationship are most often associated with intense fears of abandonment (, 2011). When people have deeply rooted fears of loneliness, their emotional responses to these concerns put constrictions on the relationship, and the couple cannot meet the emotional needs of one another, and they get lost in the negative cycle (, 2011). EFT is an approach in which couples gain a better understanding of self. For this reason, it enables the couple to have a more concise understanding of not just their emotions and emotional needs, but also through the back and forth technique through emotional reaction they gain a better understanding of their partner's emotional needs (, 2011). Emotionally focused therapy addresses the attachment-related uncertainty by expanding on the uses of scientifically validated theory and person-centered therapy by a trained therapist who effectively uses their verbal and nonverbal communication skills to help a client reach their full potential.

Information-Giving Responses

     Information-giving responses provide up to date information that can be useful and relevant to a client’s situation (Evans, Hearn, Uhlemann, Ivey, 2011). Information can include resources for s specific problem or generalized concerns the client may be experiencing. It is important for the interviewer to provide information when presenting facts, correcting myths or fallacies, and is done in an objective manner (Evans, et al., 2011). The counselor does not want to present information when the client is not ready because it will cause the patient to feel overwhelmed, and unable to take the information in, leaving them feeling unsure of what to do with the resources provided (Evans, et al., 2011). The interviewer also does not want to force information on them; it is more appropriate to give information only when needed, asked for, and when the client has faulty beliefs about a particular issue. Part of information giving is informational listening, which is less active than other types of listening because it does not involve analyzing or criticizing (Evans, et al., 2011). During the interview, the counselor will often be documenting the conversation by taking down notes. Note taking is a powerful aid to communication, a way to retain key points, and helps in summarizing what a person said for better understanding. Documenting is not to take away from effective listening; it is listening while writing down pivotal points that will be used at a later time in the session (Evans, et al., 2011). In the video, the therapist, Susan, jots down notes throughout the session but never takes her attention away from Patty and Josh. She remains involved in their conversation and summarizes all key concerns to show them she has a clear understanding of what has been conveyed.


     In the video, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (2009) Susan used excellent communication and listening skills throughout the entire interview, she not only showed she cared, but she also became a part of their story by walking through very raw emotions. She never discounted either person’s feelings or thoughts but expanded upon them to bring those emotions to the forefront, which enabled them to confront the issues directly, and in the present moment without judgment. By staying with the feelings, it brings about a very secure bond that was once a very fragile marriage and also helps develop a trusting rapport with the therapist.

Verbal and Nonverbal Language

     Patty and Josh both perceived each other’s verbal and nonverbal communication in an entirely opposite direction for what they were intended to mean in reality. Josh felt worthless, but Patty thought he was too good for her, and Patty felt tremendous fear, and Josh perceived her interactions as shutting him out. Susan’s subtle “Ah” “um” and “Mhmm” during the interview should intense empathy for both client’s, and made them feel heard and understood. Through information-giving and reflective feelings Susan brought them to the same page by paraphrasing every statement and summarizing their responses every few minutes. Paraphrasing and summarizing is a very efficient tool if the clients are nonresistant and receptive to change (Evans, et al., 2011). As the interview continued Josh and Patty felt more comfortable and at ease, which made it easier for them to interact on an emotionally intimate level. Susan’s nonverbal language or body language was consistent and engaging throughout the session. She leaned forward in her chair to bring herself closer to the couple; her eye contact remained focused on each speaker as they spoke, and, she reached out to touch each person in a reassuring and empathetic manner (Evans, et al., 2011). She used open and closed-ended questions such as “ What’s happening?” and “That’s what you’re telling him, right?” Open-ended question’s enabled the couple to have a constant dialogue, while the close-ended questions allowed them to reflect on the moment, and what was said by Susan or each other (Evans, et al., 2011). When asking questions, whether they are open or close-ended questions it is vital for the helper to paraphrase what was said to ensure the message is clear and concise to both the couple and the counselor.

Reflective Feeling

     The use of reflective feeling is to restate and explore messages transmitted that capture both the content and the emotions, but the emphasis remains on the feelings behind the words (Evans, et al., 2011). By using reflective feeling such as “Don’t trust. Only fools trust.” and “I am not invisible.” Susan not only confirms Patty and Josh’s feelings, but it also changed the way Josh and Patty perceived each other and allowed them to open up about how their false perceptions of each other’s thoughts made them feel. Reflective feelings technique allows for understanding, insight, validation, management identification and sorting out of emotions, and it is crucial that the counselor mirror’s the client's affective response in the same intensity (Evans, et al., 2011). These techniques help create a trusting and safe therapeutic relationship.



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