Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) Video: Monique

Emerging from a Shell of Grief, towards Opening and Trusting Others

The session with Monique (pseudonym) is with a young woman, stuck in a shell of lethargy. Her mother passed away five years earlier and her primary strategy for coping is to suppress her emotions – to ignore her pain and grief – push it down and try to carry on. She has lost a sense of self and of her own independence.

Through this session you will witness fluid movement through the fives moves of the EFT Tango, to follow, validate, assemble, order, and expand emotion and to shape new ways of engaging with emotion internally and interpersonally. Commentary on the screen will help to orient you as to what the therapist is doing. Also available to you upon purchase of this video are two pdfs. One is the annotated transcript and the other is a package of teaching and exercises related to five specific excerpts from the session. These exercises can be done alone or in a study group. In the final two minutes of the video, you can hear Dr. Sue Johnson, who was present in the audience, give her immediate reactions to the therapeutic process she observed in this session.

Accessing her anger and sadness underlying her coping strategy of holding back, Monique slowly gathers courage to encounter an image of her mother and to express the anger and sadness she feels in her grief. Experiencing an encounter with her mother and the imagined responses from her, Monique discovers the assurance from her mother that creates room for her anger, sadness, and fear of trusting others. She also discovers the courage and permission from the connection with her mother to begin to open up to others and to trust others again. We end the session, celebrating and integrating the impact of a felt sense of a solid, alive connection with her mother, strengthening her in her present life.