During our conversation we discuss the patterns of successful businesspeople and their relationships. We discuss the steps to improve this type of relationship. I ask him what EFT relationship therapy can mean in this. Finally, he explains the three most important things you can do yourself to improve your relationship.
What are the steps to change the pattern of this type of relationship?
1. You get stuck together in your pattern and often need someone else to get out of it.
The trouble is that it is difficult to knock on the door of your partner if he often withdraws. The harder you knock, the more your partner withdraws. Which will make you knock even harder and your partner will withdraw even more.
That is the clamp in which you then get stuck together.Very often you need someone else to work it out together. That can be good friends, it can be a therapist or it can be a relationship group. To step out of that clamp, as it were, and to rethink what I really want.
2. Recognize the pattern, what do we always do in our relationship?
That knocking can be experienced as critical or as threatening, so you want to protect yourself in withdrawal. If you acknowledge that together, you say ‘there is something to do here’.
Yes very often when we talk to people in a partner relationship and it is about the pattern, they recognize that indeed we are doing it again. It is a standard action reaction to each other. The reason can be about the smallest and most insignificant things, the cap or not on the toothpaste, or the laundry on the bathroom floor, everything can actually be a reason to get back into that old known, nasty spiral.
3. Seek appropriate help because your relationship is precious
Jacqueline: when people decide to seek help, they can opt for Emotionally Focused Therapy, EFT. And that is what we also work with. Could you tell us what that offers? What does that add to that pattern that is known at some point?
PETER: Emotionally Focused Therapy as developed by Sue Johnson, I would almost say that with a deep respect for the attachment that exists between two people. And how vulnerable and precious that bond is. And that it is worthy of protection.
That thinking about attachment, attachment, has been explored tremendously in psychology over the past twenty years. That is perhaps the best-researched part we know, which has given us all sorts of insights into how a relationship derails and how we can fix it when there is damage.
The EFT program is part of that research. From that very large piece of scientific knowledge, that has been brought back to a handful of tools that can help you improve your relationship and bring it to a deeper level of connection. Often deeper than ever before.
What are the main reasons for choosing EFT relationship therapy?
Jacqueline: I work a lot with business people and they are often short, businesslike, clear, clear and want a step-by-step plan.
Peter: My experience is that a number of sessions with an EFT therapist is quite worthwhile for a number of reasons.
1. The relationship is precious and protectable.
So I want to do something about that and I want to be there for that. In addition, you come out stronger as a person.
2. The EFT approach works.
We know that, that has been researched, that is evidence based. A lot of scientific research has been done, especially on the outcome . The average full EFT relationship therapy lasts somewhere between 12 and 18 sessions. That sounds very long, but in practice it is not that bad.
3. It is not expensive.
Imagine you take a relationship program and you take the hourly rate of the therapist and you multiply it together then you are still below the annual maintenance of my car. An average divorce in the Netherlands costs 30,000 euros . And you can lose as much as 6000 euros for a mediation process.
The advantage of an annual relationship check-up
Jacqueline: do a regular check-up and let an expert watch. You also bring your car regularly for maintenance. If you also start maintenance on time with your relationship, you will prevent escalation . You can choose when it is really really tough, very difficult in your relationship. So you can do it a little earlier in the process.
Peter: I have worked a lot with teams, when a team is running well it can be useful to have a consultant take a look at it, we do the internal dynamics in a sufficiently good way or where are the points for improvement, points for change. How can we monitor, change, improve, strengthen.
What are the things you can do yourself to improve your relationship?
I often speak to people who yearn deeply for deepening the relationship, but do not realize that they cost something at the level of time. We are all people who have busy schedules. The relationship requires slow, slow, standing still.
The three most important tips that are of value to me :
1. Spend time in your relationship.
2. Within that time; give your attention.
Dare to let the attention go to the other person. There is a novelist Erwin Mortier who speaks about ‘love is attention’ and that two words are one and the same. So make sure you work on that.
3. Dare discovery deal with yourself too.
Look in the mirror that the other person is holding up to you. I only come to know about myself, reflected in the eyes of my partner, my friends, my children.