• Joseanne Spiteri

How Well do you Communicate?

Updated: Sep 13

Have you ever noticed there is a pattern in the way you communicate with your partner? Perhaps you tend to be critical and demanding in your relationship. You may feel

dismissed and get little to no response when you try to connect with your partner. You may also notice that your partner tends to avoid certain conversations, or tries to minimize or smooth things over. You may have found that in your attempts to reconnect with your partner, you may have moved into patterns of demands, withdraws, attacks, avoidance, blaming and criticism. These behaviours can turn into cyclical automatic patterns which ultimately take over your relationship.

Is there hope for reconnection in your relationship?

Absolutely!


It is difficult, and frankly unnecessary, to determine whether the problems in a couple’s relationship begins with the demanding tendencies of one partner, or the withdrawing tendencies of the other. It is important not to blame one partner or the other.


All therapists at Couples Therapy Centre use an approach called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Here, therapists assume that the couple is stuck in a feedback loop, where the behaviour of one impacts upon the other.


EFT is now considered to be one of most evidence based models available for couples in distress. In terms of the gold standard set out by bodies such as American Psychological Associations for psychotherapy research, EFT demonstrates the very highest level set out by this standard. The foundation of EFT is that connection equals safety. On the other hand, disconnection in a relationship is perceived as dangerous. Thus, the problem in most relationships is not conflict, but emotional disconnection and feelings of insecurity. One of the main focuses of this therapy is to help you overcome insecurities in order to reduce negative reactions and conflict.


An EFT therapist will use techniques to help you become more aware of your emotions and how these emotions affect your interaction patterns. The therapist will help you slow down your negative interaction patterns and so they can observe your dance.

Your therapist will start to ask questions like:

When you are critical or demanding, what are your underlying feelings and longings?

When your partner is dismissive or avoiding conversations, what may be causing him/her to withdraw?


This approach works for most couples who seek therapy as it helps couples move away from damaging interaction patterns, and teaches them to respond to each other’s emotional needs. Thus, when you are able to respond to each other’s emotional bids, you are well on your way to building a secure bond in your relationship. When you feel safely attached to one another, you are naturally able to show positive and open communication, and also more resilience with regards to your problem solving.


If you are interested in working with a couples therapist, please contact 416 949 9878 or email us on joseanne@georgetowncouplestherapy.com to set up an appt.