Emotionally Focused Therapy for Families
EFFT (modelled on EFT for couples) offers new insights and practical strategies for restoring relationships and strengthening the security of essential family ties. (For information on EFT go back to couples pages.)
Are you in pain because of conflict or distance from your teen, your mother, father, sister, brother? Do you miss the closeness you once had or long for a safe connection that has always seemed so out of reach?
Are you stuck in the pain of old wounds and have given up hope of ever healing them and just withdrawn? Do you find yourselves staying superficial when you are together and ending up feeling empty and unsatisfied. Lost and confused about how it got like this?
Why are family relationships so important and why can they be so painful?
Family relationships are attachment relationships. We need a few precious others in our lives from cradle to grave. We depend on these relationships to deal with fear and stress and to feel that we belong.
Human beings have an inherent, universal need for a safe haven and secure base where a parent is experienced as emotionally accessible and responsive so that this person can be depended upon. Caregivers (ie. parents) have a reciprocal universal need to be competently protective and nurturing so that their young can grow and go. Children, even adult children, need the “older and wiser” ones to turn toward.
Parenting Teens: What about those confusing, stormy adolescent years?
Human dependency creates a relationship that is a source of comfort and strength for parents and their teens. Being able to tune-in to our own emotions and being able to send clear emotional signals are two essential characteristics of a secure bond. This emotional tuning-in allows teens to send clear emotional signals about the care they are looking for (which often looks like I need you to care enough about me to give me some space but when I call, you will come) with their care-seeking intent (when you reject me I get scared and angry so that when you do call for support I can over react or freeze up). This ability to unblock the caregiving instinct and the reciprocal ability for teens to open up and receive this care are achieved as attachment emotions are accessed and shared.
How does EFFT help?
- Better understand secure family connections – the pivotal moves and moments that define a relationship that is safe and close
- Better understand our own and family members’ emotional responses and needs
- Be able to describe and control negative interactions/demon dialogues that create pain and distance
- Be able to shape the positive moments of reaching and responding that create a secure bond
Hold Me Tight/Let Me Go workshops for parents and teens TBA