A note from Dr. K
Lesson 14 Chapter 3 Module 2
Now before you think I’m making fun of my clients, let’s get one thing straight...
If I were in your shoes, I’d need you to tell me the exact same thing. I’d need you to translate for me, if I were flooded with emotions. Emotions make you a simple thinker.
I should know a whole lot more than the people I’m working with when it comes to love. However when my feelings get hurt by the man I adore I become about 5 years old.
We all do, more or less.
I need someone to translate the pain I feel into some language that makes sense to that 5 year old self.
Sue Johnson, Ph.D., creator of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is a master at that, and people trained in her model learn her strategy.
One client will say: (tearfully) “You’re such a jerk. I don’t know why I ever married you!”
And Dr. Johnson will answer: “There is a part of you that is so hurt, feels so rejected, that you can’t even remember a time when you were in love…is that right?”
“…and when you are hurt like this, all you want to do is to lash out, to hurt him back… to try to make him see just how painful it is for you to feel the sadness you feel…Do I have it?”
Now before you say: “What a bunch of crap!” I’d like to remind you that this treatment approach has 70 – 75% recovery rate in 10 – 12 sessions and we see a significant improvement rate –with 86-92% of couples we use it with.
And no, this doesn’t happen reading a book or saying the right words. It happens from understanding how partners construct their deepest inner worlds and “reprocess and expand their emotional responses.”
It happens when that five year old is talked to so gently and caringly and at a deep attachment level, that they are helped to understand what they are feeling and why. Then, from that deeper, simply put understanding, they can learn to reach out to their partners in more emotionally effective ways.
In the example above, the client learns to describe her feelings of rejection and how hopeless those feelings make her feel. Her partner learns to respond to these reactions by meeting her there.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. One of the Evidence-based treatment models used at Couples Therapy Inc.