I am experiencing the privilege of having conversations with Dr. Sharon Hart May, the author of books on safe haven marriages. Her latest book, How to Argue So Your Spouse Will Listen is one I give to every couple I counsel. My conversations by teleconference are focusing on EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy, an approach to marriage counseling developed by Drs Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. A substantial body of research outlining the effectiveness of EFT now exists. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements. The only situation in which EFT is not indicated is on-going violence in the relationship. EFT is being used with many different kinds of couples in private practice, university training centers and hospital clinics and many different cultural groups. These distressed couples include partners suffering from disorders such as depression, post traumatic stress disorders and chronic illness. I have found this approach to be remarkably effective with couples I see and can affirm that my experience with EFT is consistent with the research results. This method really helps couples.
I have over twenty-five years of experience with couples and marriage. I am a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and have taken numerous courses and workshops on how to help couples stay married and most of them have a documented success rate of around 35%. (One notable exception is Dr. John Gottman's work). I cannot express how frustrating and sad it is to watch couples make a decision to separate and divorce. I almost quit seeing couples who were in distress because I knew how unhelpful traditional marriage counseling was with true and meaningful results. I no longer feel that way and am now confident that with God and this method I can help any couple who desires to stay together or reconnect.
I do not make this statement lightly. I know it is bold. The couples that find their way to my office are in significant distress. There typically has been an affair or some other major betrayal or traumatic experience that severely stresses the relationship bond. There is great emotional pain present but the tools and means are available to help them restore, redeem, and transform their relationship and grow into loving union. I am humbled and grateful to participate in such a thing as this. Please tell any couple who is experiencing marital difficulties that real hope is available.
May Blessings Be in Your Day