The Hold Me Tight Program can be used in conjunction with couples counseling or as a stand alone course.  The course teaches the seven Hold Me Tight conversations, which repair and deepen emotional bonds between partners.  The course can accelerate the benefits of couples therapy by teaching essentials of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT).  If you are considering engaging in couples therapy in addition to joining the Hold Me Tight Program please use the information below as a guide for finding the right therapist.

Finding the right couples therapist can be a challenge. While most mental health professionals do some work with couples, many have not had formal training in how to do it effectively.  For this reason many find marriage counseling to be unhelpful and give up on therapy…and even the relationship…after just a few sessions.  It is important to do research before engaging in couples therapy.  A well-trained couples therapist can help you strengthen your bond with your significant other and have the love, intimacy and romance that you long for.

 

emotionally focused therapy (EFT)

The Hold Me Tight Program is based on the wisdom and extensive research of Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples.  Their philosophy is as follows:

“We adhere to the philosophy that relationships are at the core of human experience.  Research indicates that emotionally fulfilling relationships are integral components of mental and physical health, and that emotionally focused interventions have the power to establish and recreate supportive bonds among individuals.  We are therefore dedicated to the understanding and enhancement of couple and family relationships through an emphasis on emotions and their interpersonal impact.  We believe that all people can maximize their potential given a nurturing social environment, which we endeavor to foster in our work with clients.”  From iceeft.com.

Research shows that:

  • 70-73% of couples recover after a course of EFT and 90% report significant improvement.
  • Couples continue to improve after completing EFT treatment and are unlikely to relapse.
  • EFT positively affects depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other individual emotional conditions.
  • Emotionally fulfilling relationships are essential to mental and physical health.

Additional resources for learning about EFT are here, here and here.

Couples therapists with training Emotionally Focused Therapy can be found in most states and many countries throughout the world.  The Hold Me Tight facilitators are convenient to greater Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland.  You can also search for a therapist by location at iceeft.com.  If you are unable to locate an EFT therapist in your area then consider starting with a Hold Me Tight weekend workshop and then doing some research to find a therapist who can assist you in following the model.  If you are willing to travel several EFT therapists do intensive therapy over two or three days.  If you are interested in this option contact a Hold Me Tight facilitator for assistance.

 

other methods of couples counseling

Other methods that require rigorous training are Imago Relationship Therapy or the Gottman Method Couple Therapy.  Still, other methods and therapists may be well equipped to help you strengthen your marriage.  However, only a few models have enough research to be “evidence based.”  Searching for a therapist that has a specific type of training can help you narrow your search.  Below are some additional questions to ask to get a sense of how a therapist will help you:

  1. How much of your practice is working with couples?
  2. What training have you had in working with couples?
  3. Are there any articles, books or other resources that describe or support the work you do?

Additional articles to assist you in choosing a couples therapist are here and here.