Therapy for Couples & Families


Unfortunately, 40%-50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. When your marriage is in crisis, it may feel hopeless. But the good news is that the right couples therapy can be game-changer. At Peterson Family Therapy, a Salt Lake City based therapy practice, our therapists recommend and facilitate a technique called Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), one of the fastest growing models of couples and marriage counseling available today. With EFT, 70-75% of couples report moving from distress to recovery and approximately 90% of couples show significant improvements*.

How Does Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) Help Relationships?

Research indicates and clients report that EFT can help:

• Diffuse conflict, reduce ongoing tensions
• Feel closer and more connected to your partner
• Develop healthier, more satisfying communication

• Improve emotional and sexual intimacy
• Resolve old problematic issues in your relationship
• Deal with negative patterns and create deeper connections

How Long Has EFT Been in Use For Couples Therapy?

EFT is a structured approach to couples therapy formulated in the 1980’s and has developed alongside the science on adult attachment and bonding to expand our understanding about what is happening in couples’ relationships and to guide therapists.

When is EFT the Proper Treatment for Couples and Families?

EFT is currently being used with many different kinds of couples in private practice, university training centers and hospital clinics and many different cultural groups throughout the world. These distressed couples include partners suffering from disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and chronic illness. However, EFT is not the right option for couples or families in which violence is a regular or frequent occurrence. Each person’s safety is always the first and foremost priority in all situations.

An Example of the Change Process with EFT

In a therapy session, a husband’s numb withdrawal expands into a sense of helplessness, a feeling of being intimidated. He begins to assert his need for respect and, in doing so, becomes more accessible to his wife. He moves from “There is no point in talking to you. I don’t want to fight.” to “I do want to be close. I want you to give me a chance. Stop poking me and let me learn to be there for you.” His wife’s critical anger then expands into fear and sadness. She can now ask for and elicit comfort. She moves from “You just don’t care. You don’t get it.” to “It is so difficult to say – but I need you to hold me – reassure me – can you?”
New cycles of bonding interactions occur and replace negative cycles such as pursue-withdraw or criticize-defend. These positive cycles then become self-reinforcing and create permanent change. The relationship becomes a safe haven and a healing environment for both partners.

If you would like to learn more about the research about EFT, visit the website for The International Centre For Excellence In Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).

What Other Therapies/Treatments Can Be Useful for Couples?

Sometimes when EFT is not the ideal technique, we may recommend one of the following therapies/techniques:

• Family therapy (recovery from codependency)
• Mindfulness
• Jungian Therapy
• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
• Gestalt Therapy

Every relationship is unique. That’s why our goal is to find the right therapy for you and your partner/spouse. We would like to discuss your specific needs and goals in a brief consultation. Just reach out to us.

* The International Centre For Excellence In Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).

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