Dr. Janet Hope. Psy.D. | Philadelphia, PA

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Billy Joel really had his finger on the pulse of what it can feel like to be in love. In his song, “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”, he beautifully captures both the the euphoria and the incredible vulnerability we can sometimes feel in love relationships.

As a couples’ therapist, I see many couples – both young and old – having problems being open and sharing their emotions with one another.

Sadly, vulnerability is not something that is encouraged in our society. We are taught that it is not safe to wear your heart out on your sleeve. At one point in time, early in our evolution as a species, it may have been vital for our ancestors to hide their emotions. Our very survival depended upon not revealing any vulnerability or “weakness”.

As young boys, men are taught that to show sadness and that to cry is to be a “sissy”. These young boys grow up to be men who have learned to push down their emotions in order to be accepted and not seen as weak.

The sad part about all of this cultural conditioning is that you then have two people in a relationship who do not feel comfortable sharing their insecurities with one another. This leaves room for a lot of miscommunication. This is why it is so common for there to be problems in relationships.

I use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), researched to be the most effective form of couples therapy.

EFT teaches partners to share their emotions with each other from a softer, more vulnerable place. The therapy becomes a safe haven to share anxieties and insecurities with your partner and feel heard.

It is quite gratifying for me as a therapist to see partners build trust in their relationship in this way and to come to feel more emotionally connected.

April 11th, 2015

Posted In: General Psychology

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