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College of Arts & Sciences
Psychology Services Center

Couples Therapy

People are social creatures who function best in healthy and secure relationships. Distress in our intimate relationships can cause an array of problems that can negatively impact our lives. When couples find themselves stuck in vicious cycles that create conflict and interfere with a healthy connection to each other, therapy can be a helpful tool to regain that connection. Student-therapists at the PSC offer evidence based therapeutic strategies to help repair and foster healthier and more satisfying relationships.

Couples can seek therapy for any number of reasons that create discontent or conflict in their relationships. Common issues include:

  • Disagreement over major life issues (e.g., finances, childrearing, chronic illness)
  • General communication problems
  • Sexual concerns
  • A general sense of lost connection
  • Infidelity

Therapuetic model: Student-therapists are primarily trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), but also taught to incorporate skills and concepts from the Gottman Method and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) when appropriate. 

Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT): A New Scientific and Practical Theory on Love

Developer, Dr. Sue Johnson believes couples therapy is in the midst of a revolution. The once widely accepted techniques of problem-solving and conflict management skills are still considered beneficial, but do not appear to get to the heart of the matter. They seem to fall short in developing a path to lasting change. EFT is deeply rooted in adult attachment, an extension of John Bowlby's work on the emotional bonds between children and their caregivers.

Goals of EFT:

  • To identify the couple's negative cycle
  • To increase a sense of emotional presence and engagement in each partner
  • To expand and re-organize key emotional responses
  • To create a sense of safe connection

Click here for more information on EFT.