Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Trauma Survivors
by Susan M. Johnson
How is relationship repair different with traumatized couples? What impact does the trauma have?
- More distress. Absorbing negative affect states. Intense cycles of distance, defense an distrust
- Psycho-educational component regarding trauma and how it impacts victim’s responses in relationship is necessary.
- Violence and substance abuse are more endemic.
- Alliance is always fragile, monitor it. Collaboration and transparency.
- Emotional storms and crises must be expected.
- Emotion must be contained as well as heightened. Defenses are validated.
- Shame overrides even positive cues. Addressing model of self is crucial.
- Destination is different, eg. Limits on sexuality.
- Need to co-ordinate with other therapies.
- Safety is everything, risks must be sl iced thin and supported at each step.