Pulling on the heart strings: an emotionally focused approach to family life cycle transitions.
ABSTRACT 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.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In contrast with the vast literature on the postnatal psychological difficulties experienced by some mothers, there have been few attempts to study the mental health of fathers in and around the time of the birth of a baby. Using an interpretive phenomenological analysis, this study attempts to map the experience of fathers following the birth of a child. A male consultation group was employed to guide the study, and the results feature an in-depth analysis of one new father. The findings were consistent with Kelly's notion of constructs of transition in revealing powerful emotional themes regarding loss and difficulties with adjustment. These are explored within the context of contemporary fathering, relational patterns, and male identity. The findings suggest that men's experience of distress may be linked to prevalent yet contradictory discourse directly linked to expectations about their roles following childbirth. They also suggest the clinical importance of this area, as men's well-being appears to impact that of the mother and baby.Journal of Constructivist Psychology 01/2011; 24(2):144-167. · 0.59 Impact Factor
- Therapie Familiale - THER FAM. 01/2008; 29(3).