Is an Intensive Right For Us?
EFT intensives can be extremely rewarding but are not the right treatment format for every couple. There are some key factors to help decide whether an EFT intensive might be what you’re looking for.
Here’s where you can get familiar with the entire intensive process – from our first contact all the way through follow-up care.
Follow-up Work & Alternative Resources
The effects of an EFT intensive last longest when couples commit to follow-up work. Also, some couples will not be selected for an intensive because it’s not the right format for their relationship at this time. There are many alternative and follow-up treatment options that I can recommend.
Intensives are highly efficient, but we also need to make sure the progress gained during an intensive is reinforced over time. Without proper follow-up treatment, couples who complete an EFT intensive are likely to “relapse.”
Every couple is different in terms of what good follow-up care will look like because every couple comes into and out of an intensive with different goals and levels of progress. A couple who has never been to therapy and have a highly-escalated pattern of conflict may need significant follow-up treatment after their initial 2-Day intensive. A couple who has done EFT therapy before and are coming to me with a very specific goal to deepen a particular part of their progress might need very minimal follow-up treatment.
What’s important for all couples to know is that an intensive is not going to fix all the problems in your relationship. The couples who benefit the most from an intensive will be able to recognize themes in where they keep getting stuck with one another and will be able to define specific goals for what they’d like to achieve during the intensive.
Couples who complete an intensive with me will receive personalized follow-up treatment recommendations. Examples of follow-up treatment include:
- Routine or as-needed mini (1/2 day) intensives with me (only available to couples who have done weekly therapy with me or done a 2-day intensive with me)
- Routine couples therapy with another couples therapist (I am only seeing new couples using the intensive format at this time)
- Routine individual therapy with another therapist
- Further 2-Day Intensives with me or another intensive with a different EFT therapist
- Sign up for my guided workbook curriculum, which uses An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples: The Two of Us by Veronica Kallos-Lilly and Jennifer Fitzgerald.
An intensive is not the right format for all couples. Or, it may be that it isn’t the best format for your relationship right now. I will use my professional judgment and a variety of assessment tools to screen couples so that couples have the best possible therapy experience and do not experience harm to their relationship. If I determine that an EFT intensive is not the right therapy format for your relationship at this time, here are some resources that may help:
Books – there are a variety of books that can help you gain insight into your own attachment patterns and how those show up in your relationship. Approach books with caution, though. Don’t assume that gaining insight from a book will lead directly into change in your relationship. Also, be aware that learning more about an issue can sometimes stir up thoughts and emotions that may make you feel even more distressed. While I may not endorse everything in these books, here are some of the ones I can recommend:
- Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson – I do not recommend doing the questions at the end of the chapters without the guidance of a therapist.
- Created for Connection by Sue Johnson and Kenneth Sanderfer
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
- Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson
Groups – Hold Me Tight groups are available online and in-person in many areas (including Boise); these may or may not be appropriate depending on the reason that an intensive was not the right format for your relationship. You might also benefit from other therapy groups offered online or locally.
Therapy – For many couples, standard recurring therapy of 60-75 minute sessions is more appropriate than an intensive format. If I do not select you for an intensive, we can discuss referrals to other couples therapists for weekly therapy and/or referrals to individual therapists who may be able to help you address some of the personal struggles that are showing up in the relationship.
Addictions Treatment – If one or both of you are in active addiction to substances, sex, gambling, pornography, etc., an intensive is not the right format for you at this time. There are many treatment options for addiction, including therapy, therapeutic groups, AA-type groups (AA, SA, NA, etc.), Recovery for Life programs, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, etc. Any type of active addiction is a contraindication for an EFT couples intensive, however once sufficient time and progress has been made in addictions treatment, an EFT intensive might be an option.
Intimate partner violence treatment – If intimate partner violence is the reason your relationship was not selected for an intensive, it is critical to address this problem before ANY form of couples therapy can be done safely. Couples therapy cannot be effective when there is a significant power imbalance in the relationship, so finding individual treatments for both partners and ending the use of violence as a means of control is essential in creating enough physical and emotional safety for any ethical couples therapy to occur. If you are being abused, please seek help.
EFT Couples Intensive Inquiry Form
This form is only for couples interested in completing a 2-day EFT Intensive with me. I am not taking new couples for weekly therapy and will not be able to respond to inquiries about weekly couples therapy. Please see my FAQ page for resources on finding a couples therapist who may be able to see you for weekly therapy.