Couples Counselling, Marriage Counselling & Relationship Counselling

Often it is our closest relationships that we find most difficult. Interpersonal conflicts can be frustrating, hurtful and confusing. You may find yourself struggling to communicate or repeating negative patterns that you just don’t know how to break in your relationship. You are not alone. Relationships are an investment.

Couples counselling is the process of counselling people in a relationship to try and understand and manage differences and repeating patterns of distress. It is not only just in couple relationships that we can run into strife. The relationship involved may be between couples, family members, work colleagues and friends.

  • Communication break down
  • Money pressures
  • Infidelity
  • Imbalances in power
  • Difficulties maintaining trust
  • Living separate lives
  • Problems with extended family
  • Adjusting to parenthood
  • Conflicting ideas on issues including child-rearing, lifestyle, friends and finances

Couples Counselling can help individuals to:

  • Understand the relationship you currently share
  • Rediscover why you were attracted in the first place
  • Communicating your wants, needs and frustrations more effectively
  • Understanding your partner’s feelings
  • Cope with unpleasant emotions
  • Resist the urge to criticise or otherwise behave cruelly toward your partner
  • Find out what you now want from your relationship and from each other
  • Understand how you contributed to whatever your relationship has become
  • Discuss how you feel about each other now
  • Discuss what you are prepared to do to make this relationship work

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, or EFT, is an evidence-based approach developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the early 1980s. Their work provides a clear understanding of the bonds of love and how these bonds can be shaped to create more satisfying, loving relationships. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) helps you strengthen and deepen your relationship in a caring and supportive context, generating greater closeness, connection, and intimacy with those who matter to you most.

For couples looking to strengthen their relationship, EFT offers a unique way of focusing on each individual’s emotional experience. This approach also works on what happens between you and your partner in your day-to-day interactions with each other.

EFT can be used with individuals (Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy), couples/relationships, and families and aims to help people to express, explore and understand their reactions, behaviors, emotions, and thoughts; all with a view to helping them to connect with their deepest needs and with the people who matter to them. This then allows them to live more full, satisfying, and connected lives.

EFT therapists are supported by extensive research over the last 25 years demonstrating that most couples undertaking a course of EFT report substantial improvement and 70 to 75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements in marital satisfaction. Clinicians Sarah Bergman and Sharon Irons rely on their in-depth training and clinical experience to help you identify the negative themes that play out in your relationship, and how they can be changed to achieve more satisfying outcomes.

EFT is usually a short-term (8-20 sessions), structured approach to relationship therapy.

What does EFT Couples/Relationship Therapy look like?

EFT is all about attachment. It focuses on repetitive often negative cycles of interaction that partners get caught in when they are triggered by what their partner is doing or saying. We refer to this as attachment panic which leads to reactive, rigid, and protective strategies that create distance and disconnect in the relationship. The negative cycle emerges as each partner makes their best attempt to get their emotional needs met, unfortunately, these well-meaning attempts often trigger the other to react defensively and serve to create distance and pain, rather than closeness and emotional safety. Most intimately connected people know the distressing patterns very well and often feel helpless to change the way they interact.

This is where EFT comes in. Instead of simply working on communication skills that can sometimes feel like a “bandaid” to the situation, EFT aims to help relationship members to see their negative cycle and exit it by sending more clear signals about emotional needs in ways that do not trigger the defenses and fears of their partner. EFT goes to the heart of the matter, by uncovering the deeper needs and fears that often go unheard and by helping partners express these to one another. This is how they create a positive cycle of connection, safety, and security. EFT is deeply moving, satisfying, and meaningful therapy.

Why choose EFT?

EFT is based on 25 years of validated studies on relationship distress and adult love. These ideas are supported by research into the nature of marital distress and adult bonding. It is collaborative and respectful of all clients and helps you create safe and supportive bonds. EFT has been shown to be effective for a variety of relationship problems and populations.

In insecure relationships, we disguise our vulnerabilities so our partner never really sees us.
Sue Johnson
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Life Time Of Love

We are one of the HIGHEST-RATED services for couples counselling on the Tweed Coast & Gold Coast.

Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples is a proven evidence-based couples counselling approach and has been noted by the New York Times as the relationship counselling methodology with the highest success rate! You will learn how to heal past hurts, communicate effectively and create a better future for you and your partner.

Learn more on the ICEFT Website

Attachment science offers us the most potent model for therapeutic change, especially when dealing with anxiety and depression, and that, of all models of intervention, EFT most closely captures the essence of the attachment perspective. It targets the defining feature of survival-oriented human connection, namely strong emotion, and systematically shapes core bonding interactions with others.

Our clients say …

I appreciate how professional and fair Sarah is in dealing with us in couple counselling. She is always right there following us and our feelings so well. She breaks it down so simplistically for us and brings us back to what matters most. If it wasn’t for Sarah our marriage would be over.
Ken & Leanne
Our relationship on all levels is going gang busters thanks to Sarah. Counselling with Sarah was the best thing we have done for our relationship.
Lenny & Renae