Couples Counselling brighton hove

What to Expect in a First Session of Couples Counselling


This week’s blog is an exploration to hopefully demystify of some of the things we will talk about during the first session of couples counselling using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

Exploring the Emotional Signals That We Send or Our Negative Cycle

My goal for our first sessions is to create a working hypothesis collaborating with you, of your underlying interactional patterns in moments of distress. 

I am looking to understand the emotional signals that we send to each other. Most of us when we send an emotional call, we turn it up or turn it way down. Emotion often gets scrambled in the content of the story or into something that sends an entirely different signal to what we’re feeling – anger when we’re hurting, withdrawal when we’re frightened.

Wired for Interdependence

We are wired neurologically for interdependence or effective dependency despite what our culture tells us is a success. This is a massive paradigm shift for many of us.

The science is so exact; our nervous systems are wired for connection. In our worst moment, we look relationally to cope.  When our loved one is not available, this can create primal panic. Each of us experiences primal fear through different coping strategies.

Getting Caught in our Interactional Pattern

We can get caught in our worse moments in an interactional pattern; we cope in different ways. The way that one of us manages often magnifies how the other copes.

Coping strategy meets coping strategy; defences meet defences, escalation meets escalation. This is what relationship distress looks/sounds like before treatment. It is a relational issue, not an individual problem.

My Role as an EFT Clinician

I am a process consultant. I am not going to judge who is right or wrong; I am going to try and avoid getting too focused on the story, problem-solving or advice-giving. My expertise is to provide safety to track with you your underlying emotions within your patterns of interaction.

I will help you explore safely how when you reach for your loved one, and they don’t feel available to you or don’t understand you, you cope emotionally and how you communicate this.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me. I offer sessions from my office in Hove and online.

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