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Couple Therapy with Bev Stratton

Couple Therapy

EFT - Emotionally Focused Therapy - provides a MAP

EFT Provides a Map

If you ask many therapists about their theory of change — what makes couples get better, they may say, “Oh, I use a little of this, a little of that.”  They may mention a popular relationship guru, recommend that you practice active listening, use another communication tool, or go on dates. 


I use a proven model—Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).  EFT does not just treat symptoms or offer suggestions that work if you and your partner are already getting along well enough.  It goes to the root of your pain.  It has a diagnostic GPS to know where you are and what is causing the problem, and a map for how to get to where you want to go—a stable way to repair connection and to strengthen your bond.  

Couple Therapy with Bev Stratton

If you're constantly fighting. . .

I will help you find and remove the relational “blocks” not just detour around them.  We’ll identify the pattern of mistrust: 

  • triggers or cues that often set off your fights

  • vulnerable feelings that come up

  • your reactive response (a normal strategy you have likely used for years to keep yourself safe in important attachment relationships) and how that behavior then triggers your partner

As we deepen our understanding of your pattern we’ll consider:

  • underlying raw spots from growing up or relationship history

  • what you tell yourself about your partner and about yourself

  • what you are really longing for in your relationship—the attachment needs (e.g. to be wanted, to be seen and heard) that lead to the fights when you do not get those needs met

Then, we’ll help you see

  • your moves in the negative pattern make sense

  • your partner’s moves also make sense

  • the problem is not you or your partner, but the negative cycle

  • you can own the impact of your moves on your partner

  • you can repair more quickly and easily after a fight

Eventually, we’ll help you to experience a positive cycle—a different way to respond to vulnerable feelings and to meet your needs … to co-regulate feelings with your partner and to co-create meaning, which creates connection.

If you're feeling distant. . .

We’ll consider how the distance developed and what keeps it going.


Maybe distance has always helped you feel some safety in important relationships (with family members or partners). 


Maybe you feel OK with the current closeness and just wish your partner did too.


Maybe you think some good sex would take care of things, and you don’t understand why your partner isn’t interested.


Maybe you’re feeling anger, disgust, or contempt about how your partner interacts with you.


Maybe you used to hope and work for change, for increased closeness in your relationship, and you have burned out, so now no one tries.


We’ll find ways to create some safety, to talk about how things are and how each of you is feeling. 


Together we’ll map your pattern, make sense of it, note the positive function of your behaviors, and identify other options to reach those goals.


I’ll hold hope for the two of you until you begin to feel some yourselves.


I’ll help you practice new behaviors that will help you feel close—so that they begin to feel possible and then comfortable.  You’ll experience “success in vulnerability.”

Special Situations

Let me help you ...

Love your feelings.  Love your Life.
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