Pulling on the heart strings: An emotionally focused approach to family life transitions

Indiana University-Methodist Family Practice Residency, Department of Family Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (Impact Factor: 1.01). 05/2001; 27(2):177-87. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2001.tb01155.x
Source: PubMed


Transitions through the family life cycle can be stressful because they challenge attachment bonds between family members. Open communication and the processing of primary attachment emotions are crucial when family systems change. When family members are insecurely attached, such open communication is difficult, and people tend to get stuck in absorbing states of secondary defensive affect. Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) can be particularly helpful by encouraging family members to express primary emotions. This expression then fosters renegotiation of bonds and the clarification of attachment needs and concerns. Case examples illustrate how EFT can be applied to each family life cycle stage.

1 Follower
27 Reads
  • Source
    • "Counselors can play an important role in helping fathers identify and work through the myriad of losses—for their child, for their families, and for themselves—following a diagnosis of schizophrenia by listening to and validating the stories of loss (Grams, 1996). Because schizophrenia is an illness that aflects the entire family system, couple and family work similar to the emotionally focused approaches used during stressfiil family transitions (Dankoski, 2001) may also be useftil to assist all family members in integrating this new reality into their individual lives and into the family system. The fathers in this study reported that they were committed to parenting together with their spouse, and acknowledged the challenges involved in this process. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to give voice to fathers of young adult children diagnosed with schizophrenia within the past 10 years. A qualitative, phenomenological method was used to explore and describe the fathering experiences of the 6 volunteer participants. The findings suggest that mental health professionals should recognize the needs and important role of fathers in the lives of their children who have schizophrenia. Suggestions are provided for counselors working with this population.
    Journal of counseling and development: JCD 07/2009; 87(3). DOI:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2009.tb00115.x · 0.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Stepcouples navigating the stressors inherent to remarriage or re-partnering experience the attachment challenges found in other family life cycle transitions. Dankoski (2001) notes that all life cycle transitions involve " renegotiation of attachment bonds among family members " (p. 179). "

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The focus of this chapter is a detailed case example that illustrates the application of cognitive-behavioral couples therapy (CBCT), with a distressed couple. This chapter briefly describes the central concepts and methods of(CBCT). Other topics discussed include: principles and methods of cognitive-behavioral couple therapy; assessment of presenting problems and relationship history; setting treatment goals and structuring the therapy; cognitive and behavioral interventions; and conclusions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Show more

Similar Publications