Our guest today is Lynne Beck, a Licensed Mental Heal Counselor who works with adults and specializes in couples therapy. Her journey to couples therapy began when she was working with adults and saw how much distress was related to relationships; romantic, parent-child, and friendships. She began her training in “Emotionally Focused Therapy” developed by Sue Johnson. Lynne also works with adults in an individual capacity with difficulties around anxiety, depression, ongoing relationships, and trauma.
“People think the conflict is what’s pulling them apart but it’s really the emotional disconnection has happened first and the conflict is them trying to get that back.”
Lynne describes EFT as a modality that helps couples identify patterns of communication, strengthen their relationship, help them hear each other and can work together to come up with their own solutions, and slow down the process of what we are saying when we communicate. She said that most couples do not get a chance to really hear what their partner is trying to communicate or get that far in the discussion. Lynne says that both parties in a relationship want to feel hear, feel like their partner is in it with them, and to feel like a priority. Lynne will help couples utilize “active listening” as part of their homework where they can only respond by paraphrasing and avoiding thoughts, opinions and directives. Lynne states that EFT uses the acronym ARE; How Accessible are you? How Responsive are you? and How Engaged are you?
Lynne recommends all couples read “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment” by Levine and Heller as well as Sue Johnson’s book, “Hold Me Tight.” Lynne discusses adult attachment, how it is formed and reinforced through life, and how it plays out between couples. She referenced the research experiment “Still Face” where a mother has no expression on her face and her baby demonstrates the 3 major attachment styles; secure, anxious, and avoidant. In Charlotte, Lynne is inspired by Anne Hancock of the Wellness Counseling Center who she has trained in EFT with for many years.
“Being proactive and using it to strengthen your relationship and really enhance communication so that when some of those bigger things happen, you can protect your relationship moving forward.”
Lynne’s recommendations for couples seeking couples therapy to consult with 1 or more therapists before starting(most offer no-charge), find someone trained in EFT which is evidenced based, give it a chance, and reach out when you start thinking about it.