Our Philosophy on Couples Therapy
Healthy relationships improve both physical and psychological health, reduce stress reactivity and improve recovery and relapse rates. On the other hand relationships can harm and drive negative behaviors through anger, resentment and a sense of aloneness.
By the time people come to treatment, partners or parents can feel burned out. Reactive cycles of angry pursuit and hurt withdrawal can perpetuate pain and avoidance and communication can be wounding, hostile and critical. Yet, both parties usually feel some love and a desire for connection beneath it all. That is why they feel guilt and keep engaging in the cycle. The couple or family need to de-escalate enough to engage in healing conversations and to forge new connections that feel secure.
Types of Couples Therapy
We use two approaches as the backbones of our work. The first is Emotionally Focused Therapy developed By Sue Johnson, PhD. This identifies cycles of pursuit and withdrawal and has a staged model of reengagement and healing. It is the couples therapy with the strongest evidence of long-term effectiveness and is quickly understandable to clients who may have spent years in useless therapy before. It is evocative, experiential and quite intense but truly heals attachment wounds. We work closely with The New England Center for Couples and Families, a leader in EFT treatment and training.
The other is Community Reinforcement Approach – Family Therapy for families effected by Addictions. We have received direct training from Robert Meyers, PhD. Here, the family may be raw, too escalated, to jump into healing and the client maybe disengaged, active in use and emotionally reactive. Concerned others will learn specific researched skills and be better able to engage, motivate and survive over the long-haul. This gentle but directed approach is very different than the typical confrontational intervention (which does not work well) and is also different from Al-Anon because it’s more than support and believes that we CAN change things.