During the Sexuality and Relationships conference in Athens, Greece, Sue did an amazing two hour master class on working with difficult couples with a small group of Greek and international therapists. It was a privilege to be able to participate. I took away many great ideas but two really stayed with me:
First of all, when working with difficult and very distressed couples, the EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) therapist must stay in a position of relentless empathy, however bad the relationship storm and however challenging the partners may be. This relentless empathy is for me a very important life jacket to hold onto during the storm.
Secondly, Sue invited EFT therapist to constantly have in mind the EFT Tango regardless of the Stage of EFT therapy you are in. The five steps of the Tango are:
- reflecting present process
- exploring different or new deeper emotions
- processing of the enactment
- integrating, validating and reflecting the process that just unfolded between partners (tie on a bow!)
These five moves can be repeated again and again as you move with your couple through the Steps and Stages of EFT.