About

About first responders...


Traditionally, first responders have been suspicious of and have tended to avoid settings that apply words such as emotion, bonding, attachment, and therapy. This makes sense, based on the long history of stigma within your culture. If this is true for you, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) should not scare you off! EFT couples therapy is an empirically based approach and works especially well for those who work in a high-stress and critical incident environment. It provides a way of forming a safe haven relationship with your partner. This is a relationship that is a secure base from which you can go confidently and courageously into the world. When you have a secure base at home, it is easier and safer to focus your attention at work. 

In session, we will apply Emotionally Focused Therapy in a highly tactical way. We will reframe your unique strengths (e.g., compartmentalizing, turning down emotions, focusing on "fixing the problem", etc.) in a way that can help your relationship, rather than view it as a hindrance and problem. You can develop resilience for your strengths, knowing when they bring benefit (and to therefore utilize them) and knowing when they obstruct (and to therefore set them aside). Through Emotionally Focused Therapy, you can strengthen your secure base at home providing you with a safe and strong partnership. 

Here's a great article on how Emotionally Focused Therapy has been helpful for police officers and their intimate partners in Denver, CO:

http://www.coloradoeft.com/201...

About resilience...

I work from the viewpoint that we are all wired for connection (Coan, Schaefer, & Davidson, 2006; Johnson & Campbell, 2021; Leff, 2022). Attachment figures are our emotional regulators. Firefighters working shift work with tight crews know this better than any other first responder subgroup. When people have healthy attachment, they create a safe haven for emotions which acts as a buffer against life stressors (i.e., resilience). Rigid interaction patterns create emotional distress, and distressed relationships are the symptom of insecure bonds. At home, couple distress is not the result of having the 'wrong partner'. At work, relationship distress is not the result of being at the 'wrong station or department'. Rather, couple distress is the result of being stuck in a rigid interaction pattern. Your therapy process will begin with 2-3 assessment sessions which will build the foundation for your treatment. These initial sessions will enable me to better understand your interaction pattern, help us to identify your goals for therapy, and create a treatment plan working toward meeting those goals.