Emotionally Focused Couples Paper Essay Sample

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Emotional couple therapy video is based on a married couple

As human being we receive and perceive information in a wide variety of different ways. The understanding of communication to one person might be the total opposite to another person. Counselors within the human service field have to obtain the abilities and skills to interact and communicate with clients in a counseling setting. In doing so a counselor has to possession ability to use verbal and non-verbal communication skills, ask open and close ended question during the sessions, use reflective techniques, and identify explorations, clarification, and action stages in the counseling session.

The video displayed Sue Johnson, a counselor who works with a couple using the Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). During the interview the counselor Sue begin the exploration stage by going over somethings that they have discussed in their previous meeting. She explained to the couple that she would be taking notes during the session to help her stay on track with what is important. She also explained to them that if there is something that she is saying that isn’t correct, they have the right to stop her at any time. During the interview session Sue used verbal and non-verbal skills by facing the clients while speaking with them. She used body gestures such as the nodding of the head and also hand gestures, she was expressing her feelings while using the nonverbal skills. The counselor focused on being calm, polite, and focused which showed excellent verbal communication. Not only did the counselor have good communication skills, she was also good at showing empathy towards the couple.

While Patty was explaining to Sue how she had realized that she was stilling holding on to some pain from her previous marriage and divorce. Sue showed nothing but empathy for the client, she spoke with a soft voice, she restated what she thought the client was feeling by saying “Suddenly you feel at risk, you’re scared and so, you know, what you’ve learnt to do in your life is one way of dealing with that, maybe the very best way of dealing with that that might have saved your life”. Sue went on to ask Patty an open-ended question by asking Patty “When you go into hiding, can you help me what does that look like?”

This question helped the counselor by helping find out more about Patty and her situation. Sue continued to use reflective techniques like paraphrasing; this helped by showing the client that she the counselor is listening and trying to understand. Not only did she use reflective techniques she also used open and closed ended questions. One example of an open ended question that Sue asked Patty during the session was “What does it look like when you go into hiding?” This helped by letting the counselor get more information about her mind set when the shutdown occur. When the husband Josh spoke up explain how he wants to help his wife, the counselor asked him a closed ended question “You want to take care of her right?” This was so the client can answer quickly by giving a short answer.

The Clarification stage consisted of the counselor is helping her clients find what their problem is when she say’s  “Don’t think this is so unusual actually. I think what this unusual actually. I think what this is what happened to people. People fall in love and all these wonderful things are happening and they can sort of put all their fears of depending on someone else on the-on theon the shelf. And then suddenly there is a sudden moment where we suddenly realize oh my goodness, this person has such an impact on me, I can get so hurt here. I’m so vulnerable and that vulnerability kicks in and we often don’t have many ways of dealing with it. We often don’t have many ways of dealing with it. Yeah, we really don’t and usually we go back to the way that we learned from long ago. And it’s tricky we can get struck in it but you guys, I mean you are, you know, able to talk about this, to hear each other, to own your feelings, to work on this. I mean I hope you see that you are really dealing with this in an amazing way. You do see that, don’t you?”

By telling her clients what she thought was the problem she had them to agree that Patty problem was in fear. During the action stage, the counselor explained to Patty that no matter what she say she will get through that fear.

There was no self-disclosing from the counselor but the counselor encouraged the clients by asking open- ended questions and reflective listening techniques. The counselor was very successful when doing this. The couple did a great job expressing how they feel about one another. I have to say I enjoyed watching this session; overall this was a great video to help with understanding how to be empathetic, how reflective listening should be, and how to get the clients to self-disclose. The counseling session area was very quietly although they had a audience. The counselor was nice, warm, and empathetic; I believe the only thing I would change is doing a live session in front of a crowd. I just would not feel comfortable.


Erickson, M. H. (2009). [Video file]. Retrieved from http://search.alexanderstreet.com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/vast/view/work/1824849

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