Common Interventions Used In Steps 8 And 9

Match the therapist statement with the intervention listed below:

“That was nice, Brant. You were able to see your tendency to react to Sally’s silence
by pursuing her, but you were able to go to your feelings of concern and give her the
space to respond. Can you tell Sally what has changed for you in the relationship
that makes it safe for you to share your feelings more? How have things changed,
what’s different?”

Match the therapist statement with the intervention listed below:

“It is quite amazing to watch you two handle a hot issue. It’s like I am waiting for
the old cycle to kick in, but you both went a different direction. You stay connected
and that must take a lot of courage and trust to stay with each other even though the
stakes are higher.”

Match the therapist statement with the intervention listed below:

“And that is the way things used to go. You guys would get scared and overwhelmed
and the music of that old dance would take over, but now you feel safer and trust your
connection more. Now you can see that old dance and feel powerful enough to risk
and put on this new music, the music that leads to getting close and reaching for each
other. You expect a more secure relationship, a safe relationship for your future.”

Match the therapist statement with the intervention listed below:

“Tom it seems like we lost you there, when Sarah started talking about your work
pressures and missing you. It is like you disengaged and backed away. Can you tell
her what happens for you when you hear her concerns, can you help her understand
what just happened for you?”


Mario and Luisa are discussing their plans for changing their son to a parochial school,
when Mario increases the intensity in his voice and states definitively: “We must do
what is right for our son, and I think there is only one option!” The therapist senses
Luisa backing away from the discussion as she disengages, staring out the window
while Mario continues his justification.
1. Form an evocative response that would encourage Luisa to process her experience
and to block her withdrawal from the process.


Luisa shares that she found Mario’s tone threatening, as if he just wanted her to agree
with him because he thought he was right. She felt her opinion did not count. Mario
responds, “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that. I mean I feel strongly about this and I just
don’t see any other way, but you are his Mama and you see his world differently than
I do. I do want to know what you think, no matter how strongly I feel.”
2. As the therapist, form a statement that includes a reflection and validation of the
new position that Mario took in response to hearing of Luisa’s experience.


Luisa responds to Mario: “I guess sometimes it is hard for me to believe, and I hide.
It helps to know that you want to hear my thoughts and concerns. I like your strong
voice, and sometimes I just don’t know how to respond. This is an important issue and
I also have strong feelings about this as well.”
3. As the therapist, you want to punctuate the real change in the pattern of attack/
withdraw that this couple has avoided. Now form a reframe statement to help the
couple reflect on the new way that they are relating to each other and the ways in
which they are building a more secure relationship


At the end of the discussion, the therapist wants to further consolidate the new
positions that Luisa and Mario have taken. How would you encourage the couple
to create a statement that characterizes how their relationship is different after the
work they have done?

In Steps 8 and 9, the therapist facilitates as the couple consolidates their new positions in the relationship, that have become a __________ from which to explore the world and a __________ that offers protection.

Consolidation in Step 8 describes the therapist’s work in:

A therapist would use which of the following interventions to help a partner avoid being derailed into withdrawal by intense exchange with his partner?

Couples at this stage of treatment may reengage long-standing differences and issues in their relationship. For couples at Step 8, determine whether these statements are true or false:

Old issues no longer provoke attachment insecurities and relationship battles

The meaning of old issues changes as a result of the partner’s use of more effective communication skills

Old issues are easier to explore when a partner is more available and responsive.

Couples have a better awareness of how to exit their cycle and safely engage each other

Couple has learned new rules for communicating emotions and fighting fair

Couple has insight into influence of unresolved issues in their childhood.

Couples are less likely to resolve long-standing couple issues until they are at this step.

Research has shown that EFT is more effective if it includes communication training.

From the above example of Bob and Sharon, identify the following therapist statements by type of intervention.

“What’s it like for you, Bob, when you hear Sharon say she wants to hear from you?
She wants to know your frustration?”

“Yes, it makes sense that you would want to protect your relationship from the return of the cycle that stole so much from both of you. And you figure you should be able to manage this anger, and be a bigger man. But being bigger means you have to pull back, pull away.”

“You don’t want to hurt Sharon? Yes?”

“What’s it like for you to hear Bob say he doesn’t want to hurt you? That he doesn’t want things to go back to the way they were?”

(Softly) “Can you tell him, can you tell Bob about that fearful part that worries that you might lose the closeness, the softness, the togetherness you have. Can you tell him?”

(Silence, then softly) “So when you both turn toward each other and let the other know that you are there for each other, things will be okay. A past due notice doesn’t mean that the cycle takes over. When you show your fears about going backwards, you actually move forward. You both show that you are concerned and new possibilities emerge. Like you Bob, inviting Sharon to talk with you about the late notice. Does it seem different to you?

“How about you Sharon? Can you tell him what feels different?”

Looking back on this couple’s past conflicts given in the summary above, how would you describe the positions that Marcus and Fresca would take in a heated argument? Name the fixed positions and underlying emotions of each partner.

  1. Fresca (position)  
  2. Fresca (primary emotions)
  3. Marcus (position)
  4. Marcus (primary emotions)

What is different about the couple’s pattern now? Answer the following questions about the changes that have occurred in the couple’s cycle.

  1. When Marcus sees Fresca withdraw he now intuitively knows she may be experiencing:  
  2. When Fresca withdraws what does Marcus know she may need? 
  3. When Fresca senses Marcus responding with a defensive attack she now knows he
    may be experiencing: 
  4. When Marcus responds with angry defensiveness Fresca knows he may need:



  • Changes in the relationship
  • Emotional experience with their cycle and relationship patterns now
  • The ways the couple has come up with to exit their cycle
  • Emphasize the couple’s courage to risk
  • How these changes will help them in the future

Review the Inez and Fernando case at the beginning of this chapter. Respond to the following questions that will lead to the creation of a narrative description of the couple’s new relationship pattern. What was the couple’s cycle before? Name the fixed positions and underlying emotions of each partner.

  1. Inez (position) :   
  2. Inez (primary emotions):  
  3. Fernando (position):  
  4. Fernando (primary emotions): 

What is different about the couple’s pattern now? Answer the following questions about the changes that have occurred in the couple’s cycle.

  1. When Fernando experiences Inez’ withdrawal he now knows she may be experiencing:  
  2. When Inez withdraws feeling criticized what does Fernando know she may need:  
  3. When Inez senses Fernando responding with a defensive attack she now knows he
    may be experiencing:  



  • Changes in the relationship.
  • Emotional experience with their old cycle and new relationship patterns.
  • Ways couple has come up with to exit their cycle.
  • • Emphasize the couple’s courage to risk.
  • Ways these changes will help them in the future.



Review the transcript of Fernando and Inez at the beginning of this chapter. Check all of the following indicators of termination that apply to this case. Does the therapist see?