When we can't find a safe, loving way to stay connected to our partner we go into a state of emotional pain and alarm. We automatically respond by protesting or withdrawing (fight or flight) when we feel this fear or panic. Our partner will then often respond with his or her own protest or withdrawal. This cycle is a "neural duet" between partners - they impact each other both physiologically and emotionally creating a feedback loop of negative interactions.
EFT is a systematic map of steps and stages that understands these cycles as the underpinnings of relationship distress. Couples are helped to create nurturance, love and connection in their relationships. Change strategies and interventions are specified within the EFT steps and stages. Couples learn to identify their cycle, the emotions underlying the reactions and their parts in the dance as they come up in the session and at home. Couples learn to regulate their emotions and send clear emotional signals of their needs to their partner. They also learn how to respond in a healthy way to the signals that are sent to them.
Couples begin to actively create a new, positive cycle where they can express their needs and fears and create accessibility and responsiveness. When we can send clear attachment cues we actually pull our partner closer and create safety, trust and support that we have been yearning for. EFT is collaborative, experiential model that encourages couples to be involved in the deconstructing of the negative cycle and the creation of a new, secure relationship.