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    Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy

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    I need some help with the case study below:
    Amelia and Miguel have been together on and off for 7 years. They have four children together ranging from ages 8 to 1. The couple states that they are unable to communicate effectively due to frequent use of the "silent treatment" which usually can last up to 3 days. Amelia states that she is tired of staying home with the children while Miguel is at work and threatens that she will move in with her mother if things don't change. Amelia reports that when Miguel gets home he retreats to the bedroom, watches TV, then goes to bed. Miguel has no complaints regarding the relationship and comments that everything is going great.

    Assess this couple from an Emotionally Focused Couples perspective, addressing:
    ◦How would the presenting problem be conceptualized from this perspective?
    ◦What would be some examples of interventions from this perspective?
    ◦Describe the role of the counselor from this perspective.

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    (1) How would the presenting problem be conceptualized from this perspective?

    The Attachment theory created by Bowbly and Ainsworth (1969, 1978 as cited in Hazen & Shaver, 1992)) was based on the relationship between parents and the children's healthy growth. Secure attachment occurred during infancy as an intimate relationship between child and parents, or caregivers. Johnson's interventions are based on conceptualizations of marital distress and adult love, or romantic love that is rooted in the attachment theory; and applied to adult relationships, Johnson postulated that couples explore their emotions, reactions, interaction and behaviors to identify the roles each has in the dynamic relationship. Each partner is encouraged to express their feelings in a secure environment. The EFT therapeutic focus is on the respect that each client holds for the other.

    (2) What would be some examples of interventions from this perspective?

    In her therapeutic sessions using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), Johnson (2009) utilized a collaborative alliance approach with the couple concentrating on the negative cycle that kept the couple in a marital distressed situation. The problem is perceived as "emotional starvation and insecurity". Thus, Johnson assesses the attachment emotions that underlie this insecurity. During the session, she explores each partner's experience and their interactional patterns.

    (3) Describe the role of the counselor from this perspective.

    The role of the therapist in EFT is to learn to work with knowledge of the attachment theory that suggests the lack of a relationship. The goal of the counselor is to help the couple discover their attachment needs, and wants, and to help them find each other. Additionally, the therapist helps partners to form a secure bond with each other.

    (4) What important points did you learn about Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy?

    (a) Men do well with emotionally-focused therapy even though it's a commonly-held perception that men lack emotions.
    (b) EFT is collaborative, and much like family therapy it can be integrated effectively with other approaches. However, the research appears to be limited on EFT ...

    Solution Summary

    This in-depth solution discusses Emotionally Focused Therapy from the perspective of a specific case study. All references used are included.