There are exquisite moments between partners that arise in the sacred space of mutual vulnerability, risk taking and openness with each other. These are the moments that allow secure attachment to grow. These moments anchor me in my work, and I treasure them. I have the privilege of experiencing this with the couples I work with in my office, as well as in the Hold Me Tight Workshopsthat I facilitate with my dear friend and colleague Lisa Blum.
Prior to facilitating my first HMT workshop, I found it hard to imagine that in a workshop setting people could have these incredibly powerful and intimate experiences with one another. I can say now that at each one of the 15 workshops that we have facilitated it happens. I have been blown away by the power of this workshop, as it is in this safe, open group setting that we can truly witness and experience the universality of the struggle to love and be loved.
I often hear fellow EFT therapists express their longing to experience for themselves the power ofEmotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), but they feel like couples therapy per se is not necessarily needed in their own relationship. Or perhaps they cannot solve the dilemma of who to consult as their therapist since all the EFT therapists in their community are a either friend or colleague.
As therapists, I am sure that most of us have dissected our own relationships, decoding ourselves and our partners as “pursuers” or “withdrawers”, and outlining our own negative cycles. Maybe we have even shared this insight with our partners. But how many of us have felt rather alone in this process? How many have wished to download what you now understand about attachment, love, and secure bonding into your partner’s brain? Perhaps your partner has read Hold Me Tight – and that’s a HUGE gift to the relationship, and gives you a shared language. But unless you’ve made the time at home, and your partner has also been generously willing to do all of the exercises with you, it can still leave you longing for a fuller experience of EFT.
Here are 4 common therapist struggles:
- I want to share my knowledge of love and secure bonding with my non-therapist partner. How do I do that short of having them attend an EFT externship or just independently read a bunch of books? We don’t have consistent time at home to focus on “us” with the kids, late nights and many demands on our time.
- I want to experience the power of Emotionally Focused Therapy with my partner, but we would need some guidance and structure to get us there at first.
- As a therapist, I focus so much on helping my couples and clients to heal and thrive, that I am depleted and don’t have the energy to bring to my own relationship.
- I want to attend a Hold Me Tight Workshop, but feel embarrassed that as a therapist myself, I find myself needing help too. I wonder what other couples in the workshop would think of me?
A wonderful solution to the therapist’s dilemma is to attend a Hold Me Tight workshop specifically for Therapists and Their Partners. It is not therapy – but it is deeply therapeutic and very informative. You and your partner together will immerse yourself for an entire weekend in nurturing, deepening and healing your relationship. Together you will walk the EFT map, and can resource this map to keep you tethered to one another in the face of your relationships struggles for years to come. You will be amongst your colleagues, and feel validated that our struggles in love and relationships are universal. As Sue Johnson put it so perfectly “We are all just turkeys in the same turkey soup”! It’s also a chance for therapists’ partners to join with others who share the unique experience of being partner to a healer.
EFT is at its heart a present-process experiential model. “Knowledge comes from experience; everything else is information,” as Albert Einstein said. The added bonus is that by participating in this workshop, you will experience and learn the EFT model. You will learn more about the science of love underlying the EFT approach, as well as experience the process of outlining your negative cycle, learn to step aside together from these negative patterns that cause so much pain and keep you distant from one another, and how to reach for each other to bring each other close again.
As a therapist who has committed his or her career to walking alongside those who are hurting, and helping to heal broken hearts, how often have you turned your focused attention on nurturing YOUR most important relationship? We know that being in a secure relationship with your precious other is one of the strongest predictors of psychological and physical health and longevity, and it is also a protective factor in the development of vicarious trauma in therapists. Take the time now to nurture and care for yourselves through this workshop.