Case Formulation Process : A Secure Bond Between Partners By Choreographing New Emotional Experiences

Case Formulation Process : A Secure Bond Between Partners By Choreographing New Emotional Experiences

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Case Formulation Process
The main goal of EFT is for couples to create a secure bond between partners by choreographing new emotional experiences. The three stages of EFT guide the therapist to ensure the couple identifies and processes negative interaction patterns and the underlying emotions caused by these patterns. A secure therapeutic alliance is crucial between the EFT therapist and couple in order to safely complete all stages of therapy. Trust is an important factor that the couple needs in order to take risks and share primary emotions and attachment needs (Dalgleish et al., 2015). Cycle de-escalation, changing interaction patterns, and consolidation and integration are the three stages of EFT used to direct the couple towards a more secure bond.
Stage One
Stage one of EFT, the de-escalation of negative cycles of interaction, asks the therapist to assess and process with the couple the interaction patterns that cause dysfunction in their relationship. Step one involves identifying relational conflict, followed by identifying negative interaction cycles in step two (Johnson et al., 2005). This leads up to accessing underlying primary emotions in step three and finally reframing the problem in terms of the cycle in step four (Johnson et al., 2005).
Step One. Step one involves the therapist creating an alliance with the couple and identifying conflict issues as they relate to attachment needs. Since secure attachment is necessary for the couple to reach out to one another and effectively handle distress in their relationship, a secure therapeutic alliance is necessary (Hardtke et al., 2012). An important quality for the EFT therapist to have when creating alliance is to be empathically attuned to the couple (Johnson et al...


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...raction cycles and connect in new ways (Furrow &Johnson, 2011). This narrative should highlight differences in past and current behavior, understanding primary emotions related to actions in their interaction cycle, and newfound ways of exiting the cycle (Johnson, et al., 2005). This is the final choreographed piece of the couple’s dance which has now been successfully completed. The therapist also may encourage the couple to participate in attachment rituals to provide reminders of the secure bond the couple shares and encourage meaningful exchanges (Johnson et al., 2005). Doing so will help the couple deal with future relational distress (Furrow & Johnson, 2011). The couple is now ready to terminate with the therapist if requested. It is now important to discuss the specific therapeutic techniques used by the EFT therapist throughout the three stages of treatment.

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