“Repairing, rebuilding, and restoring relationships”—these are more than words for me. They are the key elements and sequential stages of identifying and addressing the wounds and damage within your relationship.
In order to restore a house to its original strength and beauty, it requires sustained effort, beginning with a vision of the restoration. Most good things in life begin with a beautiful vision, so here is mine—based on the powerful and effective couple’s therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT, more details below).
First, we will work on repairing basic communication, which often becomes so difficult that there is too much conflict or too little talking (or both). This task begins by identifying and admitting that “we can quickly get into a mess” and need some help to find a better way of communicating. As we get better at identifying this, we “catch” conflict faster, and it becomes less frequent and less intense. As this happens, the relationship house begins to open the windows and breathe in fresh air, which feels great.
Second, this relationship project typically requires some rebuilding and remodeling. Similar to actual remodeling, we are working with walls, but rather than tearing them down, we are gently lowering them. This allows each person to be fully heard and deeply understood, which most people are longing for underneath all of the miscommunication and pain. This process is delicate and deliberate, yet powerfully rewarding. Getting to this point takes a good bit of effort, but it’s totally worth it!
Last, but equally important, some couples choose to invest more time and energy to restore their relationship house to its original strength and beauty by adding some polishing and refinements that make it really shine. After reducing conflict, enhancing communication, and understanding each other more deeply, the couple is ready to restore their relationship—yet in a new way. At this point, it is common for couples to re-define their roles and feel renewed with more flexibility, spontaneity, sexuality, and humor.
This vision is primarily based on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which is a powerful and effective evidence-based therapy that has been proven (20+ years and 25+ clinical trials) to be very helpful in treating couples with a wide variety of problems (Read more about EFT).
EFT is an integrative therapy, primarily derived from the “Humanistic School of Psychotherapy” (began in the 1950s). This school asserts that people are doing their best to be true to themselves and to connect sincerely with others in their most authentic way.
Watch the short “Love Sense” video on EFT