Couples Therapy

Deborah Cox Psychologist, Therapist, Couples Therapist Springfield MOTrouble comes to every relationship. We bring in our old, imperfect attachment patterns from early childhood and play them out with our loves. So we wound each other. But deep down, we really want to connect, know each other, and be known.

I treat couples with an approach based on Susan Johnson’s Emotion Focused Couples Therapy. This model focuses on the attachment relationship between partners. We work to repair that attachment by helping partners tune in to the attachment dance happening between them in real time, and giving each other the safe space in which to notice and heal that dance.

But since I’m also a trauma psychologist, I infuse EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy into most of my work with couples. I do this because most couples (maybe all couples) bring past trauma with them into their current relationship . . . then experience more trauma in and through that adult attachment. It’s just what we do.

If we can reprocess old trauma that preceded the relationship, that goes a long way in allowing partners to reconnect. If we can heal the actual relationship by soothing the core of it, that’s a game changer.


Listening to Children’s Anger: Anger Wisdom, Part XXIII

Remember being angry as a child? Children's anger deserves our attention. When I talk to adults about their childhood anger, they usually remember, but feel anxious talking about it. Sometimes they draw a complete blank. I definitely remember being angry as a kid, and...

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When Anger Corrodes: Anger Wisdom, Part XXII

When anger corrodes. Wait, does it? How can you tell when your anger morphs from a moment of clarity and self-protection to something else entirely? Anger has its destructive side . . . at least Ursula K. Le Guin believes it does. I reserve the right, at the end of...

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Exiting a Sick System: Anger Wisdom, Part XIX

How does anger help us exit sick systems? Anger helps us exit sick systems. How? Anger allows information processing, because it is a part of the learning curve. So, let’s look at how anger facilitates timely exit when we need it. First, sick systems tend to have...

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