Marriage Counseling – San Luis Obispo, CA

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What is Psychotherapy (Therapy or Counseling)?

The goal of psychotherapy is to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and low self esteem to improve relationship and occupational functioning. A psychotherapist helps people understand their problems from a new perspective by offering an objective point of view and new ways of thinking, feeling and problem solving. Psychotherapy changes the way people think and feel about themselves and their circumstances. This results in more optimism and the ability to cope with stress and enjoy life more fully.

Psychotherapy is a secure confidential relationship that occurs in a structured setting between a trained psychotherapist and client(s). It is conducted with individuals, couples, groups, and families. Psychotherapists are legally bound to respect the confidentiality of clients due to the very personal and sensitive topics that are often discussed.

Ethical psychotherapists are careful to protect the professional boundary of the therapist/client relationship. This creates a safe environment for deep self-disclosure and protects the client and the therapist from the expectation of a dual relationship outside of the therapy office. Ethical therapists do not exaggerate their abilities or the outcomes of psychotherapy.

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy and How Can It Help Me?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a scientifically proven form of professional therapy developed by Sue Johnson, Ph.D. and Les Greenberg, Ph.D. based on attachment theory and relational neuroscience. Many forms of counseling focus on changing thinking or behavior. EFT focuses on changing the emotions that drive the thoughts and behaviors that cause problems in peoples lives. EFT can be done with couples, individuals or with families. Our emotions become more positive and secure when we have close relationships who are available to us when we need them, are emotionally responsive, and who stay engaged when we communicate our deepest feelings with them.

Many problems that people seek help from are rooted in a difficulty that they have in forming and maintaining secure loving relationships in marriage, with family and with close friends. Research in the last 15 years has proven that a lack of secure attachment is related to an increase in problems, which include:

  • Repeated relationship failures
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Serial affairs
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Compulsive focus on work
  • Low self-esteem
  • Immune system deficiency
  • Reoccurring symptoms of trauma or grief
  • Low level feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Problems with parenting

When we are securely attached in our most important relationships our bodies produce hormones that improve our mood, increase our energy and help us fight disease. We have an easier time staying free from addiction and recovering from stress. We have a more positive outlook on life and are able to have more productive and fulfilling personal and work relationships. Parenting becomes less stressful because we know how to show love and set healthy boundaries. Our marriages grow and thrive because we are able to listen and respond to our partner’s emotional needs.

EFT helps people become more aware of their emotional needs and express these needs to the people that they care about the most. When couples come in who are having repetitive conflicts, Emotionally Focused Therapy helps them understand the cycle of their conflicts and heal the relationship insecurity by expressing their primary emotional needs to each other. EFT has been found to be effective in as few as 14 sessions. When there have been attachment injuries in childhood, or a major attachment injury such as an affair it may take a year or more of work to help a couple feel secure and loving with each other.

Do I really need therapy?

The problems described above are very costly to our relationships, physical and financial health. Few people get the kind of help they need from their families and from their own educations to navigate the complex problems of struggling relationships. It is nearly impossible to be objective about who is right and who is wrong in a relationship conflict without skillful outside help. While it is humbling to admit that we need help, this is often the first step to getting outside of our personal pain and seeing what changes we need to make to stop our cycles of conflict. In most cases we struggle with the people we care about because we fear losing them. Unfortunately, we also do not know how to talk with them in a loving way because we are so hurt and fearful of further rejection. Emotionally Focused Therapy creates a safe place to understand your emotions and to express them in a way that brings healing rather than further division. Dr. Michael Wayne Regier has over 30 years of experience doing psychotherapy with couples, individuals, groups, and families. He understands the complexities of relationship problems and can help you see the patterns that have kept you from becoming secure and successful.

Call Dr. Regier Today at (559) 222-2442 for a free phone consult!

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