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EFT for Couples: Building Stronger Connections

EFT for couples: Building strong connections

Loving someone is beautiful. But sometimes being in a relationship can feel like walking inside an intricate maze where you find yourself grappling with emotions that make you feel unheard, undervalued, and disconnected. This blog talks about common relationship issues and offers helpful solutions for distressed couples who are looking to strengthen their bond. It also throws light on how EFT Tapping - an emotion-focused therapy for couples can help you with a route to a joyous relationship.

A relationship is like a ship that sails through the rough and calm waters of life, carrying the hearts of two people navigating together.

It is a beautiful bond between two people, filled with shared joy and unwavering support during good times and bad, creating a deep and lasting connection.

However, disagreements and problems can sometimes make a relationship tough, making the couple to drift apart or feel consistently unhappy.

In a committed relationship, it's natural for couples to face conflicts that lead to feelings of sadness, stress, or even loneliness. But if these issues aren't addressed, they can quickly escalate, leading to misunderstandings and more distress.

WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP DISTRESS?

It is a common experience where couples encounter turbulence in their bond, often marked by feelings of frustration, sadness, or disconnect. This turmoil can stem from unresolved conflicts, communication breakdowns, or differing expectations.

But surprisingly, these challenges can also show how emotionally strong the couple can be. Many times love, understanding, and the will to be forever together between them prove to be a powerful force that helps them get through tough times and rise stronger.


“A great relationship is about two things:

First, appreciating the similarities

And second, respecting the differences.”

Invajy


CAUSES OF RELATIONSHIP DISTRESS

Negative patterns and emotional regulations of relationship stress

The common relationship problems are as follows: 

1.

Feeling Unheard

One of the silent struggles could be that your thoughts, your joys, or your worries are not being heard and just vanish into the abyss.

This can make you feel ignored, yearning for that attentive ear that can make you feel important in your partner’s life.

This sense of being unheard when left unaddressed, can erect invisible walls between you and your partner. The distance grows not only in physical space but in the emotional realm as well.

2.

Feeling Undervalued

Due to a fast-paced life, you or your partner may fail to show gratitude or acknowledgment, leaving one of you feeling undervalued. You might think your efforts, presence, and contributions seemingly go unnoticed.

It's not that your partner doesn't care, it's just that acknowledgment and appreciation often take a back seat amid the chaos of daily life.

So do not make the word 'Thank You' a rarity and try to say it more often, as a gesture of acknowledgment of your partner's efforts.

3.

Not Feeling Deeply Connected

Have you ever felt like there's an imaginary wall between you and your partner?

It's a common emotional architecture that builds up eventually setting the couple apart. This imaginary wall isn't built intentionally, it's a result of unspoken emotions, unaddressed concerns, and the natural ebb and flow of life.

So, instead of saying, "hold me tight", you feel an unusual distance from your partner. Breaking down this emotional wall requires knowing about its presence, understanding its origins, and actively working together with empathy.

4.

Feeling Suffocated

Being with your loving partner is always a special feeling. Together you weave moments of shared joy and companionship. However, always demanding to be with your mate everywhere can lead to a sense of suffocation.

Feeling suffocated in a relationship doesn't imply a lack of love, it's a call for balance. Balancing personal space becomes crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship. It means understanding that you both have your own identities, even when you're together.

Making space for personal growth, hobbies, and ME time for each other is like letting the relationship take a breath.

Finding the right mix of being close and having your own space can turn a relationship from feeling restrictive to enjoying freedom.

5.

Feeling Insecure

Feeling insecure in a relationship happens when there are problems that haven't been worked upon. This feeling of insecurity can lead to negative thoughts and emotions, making one feel unsafe.

You can overcome this feeling by talking openly, being honest about your feelings, and trying to understand each other better.

Making a relationship secure doesn't mean getting rid of all worries. Instead, it's like building a strong base of trust that can handle tough times.

Not just one partner but both must play a part in making sure the emotional space you share feels safe. By being kind, understanding, and supporting each other, doubts can turn into trust and a secure emotional bond.

WHAT IS COUPLES THERAPY?

Couples Therapy is a beautiful solution to work on to save your relationship.

An emotionally-focused therapy offers a helping hand for two people who want to sort things out together. A couple may come because they're having trouble and want to solve the problems and fix things.

Other times, it could be because one person is thinking about leaving and the other still wants to make the relationship work. Hence, there could be different reasons why a couple might come for help. Sometimes family members might have to get involved as well.

Here's a glimpse of what can happen during 20 sessions of couples therapy:

EFT focuses on relationship challenges, emotional disconnection and troubles

The Time When You and Your Partner Are Together:

  • The therapist may ask what each of you wants i.e. Do you want to stay together or part ways?
  • If there are a lot of hurt feelings, the therapist might suggest having a few sessions separately before coming together again. This helps calm down strong emotions.
  • In EFT Tapping therapy, the therapist helps both of you to talk about your feelings and tries to find ways to help both of you feel better.

Now what happens together in therapy?

  •  First, EFT therapists help both of you understand how to talk about your feelings, giving you both a chance to express what's in your hearts.
  • If one of you gets upset, the therapist might do something called 'tapping'. It's like a gentle way to calm down those big and intense emotions. A bit like emotional soothing. Your partner can join in too, and it helps both of you to feel better together.
  • The therapist helps to erase negative feelings and brings back positive emotions. It's like wiping away the bad stuff and making room for good things.
  • As partners, you both learn to share your feelings in a better and more effective way.

What if the Couple Doesn't Want to Stay Together?

If staying together is not what both of you want, and both of you decide to move on, then you both might not need therapy together to fix things.

Instead, in an EFT therapy environment, the EFT therapist might help you figure out how to part ways in a good and peaceful way. This would involve more one-on-one individual therapy with the therapist.

Or Maybe Only One Wants to Stay Together?

negative cycle of attachment needs; negative cycles of bonding interactions

If one of you wishes to make the relationship work but the other isn't sure, the therapist tries to find one thing you both would want to make better. Then you and your partner can work on that together as part of couples therapy.

HOW TO HANDLE ANGER DURING THE SESSIONS OF EFT TAPPING THERAPY?

Couples therapy, as a part of Emotional Freedom Techniques, also handles anger carefully by creating a space for understanding each other.

When anger arises during a session:

  • EFT therapist will ask you to take a break and loudly express your anger. This could be by beating a pillow or doing something called Tantrum Tapping. It's like letting out the frustration in a safe way.

  • It creates a safe space like making sure both of you feel okay to let out those intense feelings.

  • You would be encouraged to create a space to talk about the deeper feelings behind the anger. For example, saying something like, "When I notice the anger, it makes me feel... because..." (It's like understanding the emotions hiding behind the anger.)

  • Both of you can take turns to vent out. One can tap with the therapist while the other follows along. It's a way to support each other.

  • Each of you would have your own space to express, making sure both voices are heard without interruptions.

  • When it's time to tap, focus is given to one person at a time. Each of you gets dedicated attention.

HOW TO CREATE A POSITIVE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM?

Emotionally focused couple therapy helps you transition from fights to Hold me tight

In couples therapy, a system is incorporated to help couples express their feelings, take responsibility and work on their communication skills instead of blaming each other. Here's a helpful approach:

  • When there's something your partner does that affects you, say,
    "When you do this, it makes me feel hurt because..." (It's like sharing how actions impact feelings.)
  • Similarly, you can say,
    "When I notice this, it makes me feel upset because..."
    It's about understanding the cause-and-effect of actions on emotions.

This way, the focus shifts from blaming to understanding and expressing how actions impact feelings. It creates a space to help couples have open communication and supports both of you as partners to take responsibility for your behaviours.

In essence, Couples Therapy is like a guide for relationships, helping couples understand each other's feelings, learn to talk better and find common ground to build a stronger relationship or else figure out if they want to stay together or move on.

HOW EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES (EFT) CAN BE YOUR GUIDING LIGHT?

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a powerful method that digs beneath the surface to address the root causes of emotional struggles in your relationship.

It helps you navigate through the coil of emotions. It's like a bridge connecting your emotional intelligence and emotional experiences to a deeper understanding of yourself and your partner.

Unlike quick fixes, EFT is more like a therapeutic and emotion-focused journey. It involves tapping on specific meridian points on your body, like a series of gentle prompts to your emotional system. This technique might seem simple, but its impact is profound.

If you are new to the concept of emotionally focused therapy (EFT), download the EFT Tapping Booklet now.

Family therapy for emotional experience and emotional regulation

HOW DOES EFT ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSE?

EFT is not just another therapy but a deep dive into the core of your own emotional experience and connection, here's why:

1.

Identifying the Root Cause:

EFT operates on the belief that emotional struggles often have roots in deeper experiences. It's like peeling back the layers of an onion getting to the core of what's really causing the emotional distress. By identifying these root causes through an emotion-focused approach, an EFT therapist helps partners understand each other on a deeper level.

2.

Tapping Through Emotional Barriers:

The process involves tapping on specific points while discussing the underlying emotions. It's like a gentle, supportive conversation with your emotional self. EFT can help in releasing emotional blocks and developing a free flow of understanding and empathy between partners.

3.

Reassessing Emotional Intensity:

EFT doesn't just stop at identifying the root cause it also evaluates the intensity of the emotional distress. It's like taking emotional inventory and gradually transforming intense negative emotions into a more manageable, constructive state.

4.

Building a Foundation for Change:

By addressing the root causes, EFT lays the groundwork for lasting change, thus creating a shift at the very core of your emotional connection. Partners begin to see each other in a new light, fostering a deeper and more resilient bond.

In all, EFT couples therapy is an emotion-focused invitation to explore the emotional landscape beneath the surface. It's a journey of mutual discovery, understanding, and healing that goes beyond the visible struggles, reaching into the heart of what truly connects you and your partner.

EFT TAPPING STEPS TO OVERCOME STRAINED RELATIONSHIP STRESS

The tapping steps of EFT therapy for couples are as follows:

Step 1:

First Use EFT Tapping How the Relationship Stress Feels Like

The first step is to explore the physical sensations in the body associated with relationship stress.

The idea is to notice what happens with your thoughts and emotions when you tap so that you can go deeper and explore the root cause of the issue.  

1.

Identifying Surface-level Issues in Relationships

Bring to mind a moment when the stress in your relationship was particularly intense.

Identify surface symptoms such as emotional responses (anger, fear, and insecurity), mental health problems (thoughts of unfairness, confusion, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder), and physical sensations (tiredness and mental exhaustion).

2.

Measure Stress Levels

Rate the current stress level on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is extremely high and 1 is low.

3.

Tap on the Karate Chop Point

Use a setup statement while tapping on the Karate Chop point:

"Even though I feel so stressed, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

(Repeat the process 3 times.)

4.

Start Tapping on the Upper Body, Facial, and Finger Tapping Points

  • Eyebrow: I feel stressed about _________

  • Side of the Eye: I feel it in my ___________

  • Under the Eye: It’s at a number _______

  • Under the Nose: It makes me feel _______

  • Chin: It’s in my ________ at a number _____

  • Collarbone: It makes me feel_________

  • Under the arm: So ____________

  • Thumb: So ____________

  • Index Finger: Stressed because___________

  • Middle Finger: I feel it in my ______________

  • Little Finger: So________________

5.

Close the Sequence

Revisit the Karate Chop point and repeat the setup statement to close the tapping sequence.

"Even though I feel so stressed and [other surface symptoms], I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

6.

Relax

Take a calming breath and sip some water to help relax.

7.

Test

Assess the stress level again and observe any shifts in your feelings and thoughts about the relationship. If needed, repeat the process.

Step 2:

Discover Past Experiences of Getting Stressed and Clear Them 

In the second stage, to reveal the memories linked to feeling stressed, you can ask questions like:

  • When have you felt stressed before?

  • What does the stress remind you of?

  • When is it that you don’t experience stress?

  • What can trigger and bring about the feeling of stress?

Step 3:

Explore Any Other Limiting Beliefs That Prevented You From Being Stress-Free

Limiting beliefs in relationships are conscious or unconscious thoughts that hinder a couple's ability to resolve issues and grow together.

These beliefs often lead to patterns of self-sabotage, avoidance of addressing problems, and a decline in the mutual respect and esteem between couples.

Try to think of the limiting beliefs you may be having related to your stress. Then shift them from negative to positive.

For example, “Something bad is going to happen between us.” to “Everything is going to be fine.”

Step 4:

Close with Positive Tapping

End the session with positive tapping,

"Even though I feel stressed sometimes, I choose not to get overwhelmed and instead cultivate love and understanding in my relationship."

Repeat positive statements tailoring to your specific surface symptoms.

In the final stage, imagine stepping into a future where the relationship stress is under control. Notice the positive changes and use this vision to motivate a shift in your current mindset.

CONCLUSION

Evidence-based Private practice therapy with licensed mental health professional

Acknowledging and addressing the pain points can pave the way for a deeper connection. 

Whether through simple tips and tricks or a profound technique like EFT, the key lies in recognising and responding to the emotional needs of both partners.

Remember, every relationship is unique, but the journey toward understanding and connection is universal.

Emotionally Freedom Technique for Couples therapy offers a powerful pathway to building and reinforcing the core of your relationship as it is emotion focused. Whether you're seeking help for your own relationship or you're a therapist expanding your skills, EFT can make a profound difference.

With its emphasis on emotional bonds, improved communication, and lasting change, EFT has the potential to transform relationships and bring greater happiness and satisfaction to your lives.

If you're ready to invest in your relationship by choosing couples therapy, consider exploring the world of EFT Tapping therapy for Couples—it may be the key to unlocking a deeper, more loving connection with your partner through its excellence in emotionally focused strategies. Because you deserve to be loved.

Love,

Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)

Book a EFT couples counseling call for short-term therapy

In summary, Emotionally Freedom Technique (EFT) is a structured approach rooted in attachment theory, designed to secure connections and strengthen emotional bonds. EFT, backed by research, identifies negative interaction patterns, supports developing open expression, addresses unmet attachment needs, and promotes healthier interactions, resulting in deeper emotional engagement. Whether you are seeking relationship improvement or expanding therapy skills, EFT can help you unlock deeper, more loving connections.

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