Building the Secure Base, becoming a Master Couple
People in relationships seek couple therapy for many reasons including increasing emotional support, reducing Post Natal Depression (PND), enhancing intimacy, reducing conflict, improving communication and sexual satisfaction, understanding infidelity, reducing disconnection and enhancing re-connection after childbirth as explored by Dr Martien Snelling in his book entitled Rekindling. Couple Therapy is a type of psychotherapy which is provided by an experienced Family Therapist and is aimed at increasing understanding and awareness of interactional patterns that need changing. Alain de Botton in his book The Course Of Love encourages the couple to understand each other’s “insanity” or sensitivities linked to early attachment experiences and which create interactional misunderstandings. This need to understand how my partner is different to me is also embraced by the book entitled The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman.
Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT-C) created by Leslie Greenberg & Susan Johnson is embedded in Bowlby’s Attachment Theory of emotional security. It is also embedded in an understanding of insecure attachment patterns developed in childhood and reactivated in significant couple relationships. These may include interactional patterns of pursuit-withdrawal or criticise-defend which increase distress. EFT-C encourages the couple to understand and respond to each other’s attachment needs to repair conflict, increases positivity in interaction, and build the experience of the relationship as a secure base.
Gottman Method Couple Therapy is based on extensive research on how to become a Master Couple.. The Sound Relationship House Theory is an integrative approach to couple therapy. It enhances positivity by creating shared meaning and building love maps and reduces factors predicting divorce which are called “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling. It is an effective therapy which integrates EFT-C in its focus on building and repairing the couple’s friendship and love and their secure attachment to each other. It integrates systemic family therapy in its focus on interactional patterns. It integrates narrative therapy in enhancing understanding of how the stories they tell about their lives may restrict them from overcoming their present difficulties, encourages a reframing of those stories, and puts a major emphasis on identifying the couple’s strengths. It is also a psychodynamic couple therapy in enhancing awareness of attachment patterns and stories developed in the family of origin.