Communication Problems in Relationships

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Effective communication with the people who are most important in our lives is the ‘grease’ that allows the wheels of relationships to spin.

 

We Help Couples And Family Groups Feel More Connected

 

Using Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and other models, Shift psychologists help provide a sense of safety in couples’ and family sessions, de-escalating conflicts and helping disengaged members to re-engage. There is no blame within our therapies, only efforts to bring partners and family members closer together, so they can communicate what they really need from the relationship. Often, this takes the form of ‘translating’ behaviours. For example, a husband might withdraw from his wife, seeing her angry face and hearing, “You’re never around!” We would work to help both partners appreciate what might be the wife’s true meaning, that is, protesting what she feels is the emotional distance between them, as if to say, “You’re SO important to me, but your distance feels like you don’t need me.” Shift psychologists understand that humans use cold detachment for emotional protection (e.g., “You can’t hurt me if I don’t allow myself to care.”) and focus on rebuilding fragile connections with the people we need and care about.

Emotion Focused Therapy is Brief and Effective

EFT is a short-term therapy, usually lasting between 8 and 20 sessions. Research demonstrates that it is effective, with most outcome studies showing more than 70% recovery from marital distress in 10 – 12 sessions. The reason EFT works so well is that it directly addresses the three questions that evolution has hard-wired us to need to know:

  • Do I matter to you?
  • Can I count on you to be there for me?
  • Will you answer me when I call to you?

By helping couples to observe the patterns and vicious cycles that promote fear and distance between them, partners become better able to slow down their own reactions and allow more time to reflect on what each might really need within the relationship. EFT is useful for all couples, as well as family groups.

Read about one of the couples we worked with here.

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Call Shift for more information about EFT.