You have read the title above and think, surely this is a joke. Actually, no. Dr Sue Johnson, who originated Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and Dr Jim Coan , a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia, have collaborated on research that tests women in partnerships that have completed Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. The women underwent tests in MRIs before and after therapy with their partners. The tests found that the women were less likely to respond physiologically to signals warning of electric shocks and the shocks themselves when holding their partner’s hand after a secure bond had been established between the two.
When the women and their partners are A.R.E. (Accessible, Responsive, and Engaged), the women were calmer and experienced less pain when shocked. Dr Johnson describes the results after completion of EFCT: The women were only “uncomfortable” whereas in testing prior to the therapy, the shocks “hurt.”
Are you and your partner Accessible, Responsive, and Engaged (ARE)? Would you like to be? Let’s talk about whether EFCT is right for you and your partner. Contact me at 916-910-9412.
To learn more about the testing published in PLOS ONE on “Soothing the Threatened Brain” by Drs Johnson and Coan, go to http://www.drsuejohnson.com/love/a-quiet-revolution/.
©2019 by Charlie Ruff, MA, LMFT