Beyonce & Jay – Z Have Us Talking All Things Couples:
An Introduction to Emotion-Focused Therapy
Imagine there was a simple answer to all of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s relationship challenges over the years? With such pop cultural significance upon us with the release of the couples new album, we’re all wondering the same thing….“How do they do it?”.
With Drs. John & Julie Gottman, Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Greenberg on the scene, there’s no shortage of scientific evidence and practical knowledge for us to draw on when it comes to being in a fulfilling, yet imperfect, relationship (and yes, we actually don’t strive for perfection here!). So, just how did the Carter’s move past their relational ruptures over the years and still manage to come out on top?
Join me in placing all of our judgements in a suitcase and on a direct flight to Paris, France. Let’s wave that suitcase, full of assumptions and judgements, “au revoir!” as we journey through 3 basic principles of Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT).
First stop, Louvre. Notice how you feel here. Overwhelmed, joy, sadness, fear? Increasing our emotional awareness and being able to tune into how we’re feeling is one component of EFT. This skill goes a long way when it comes to our own emotional health, and when being in a relationship with others.
Next stop, the Palace (the Pavillon de l’Horloge). It is here that the increase in our ability to regulate, manage and process our emotions happens. What does this actually look like in a relationship? Picture Beyonce trying her full-on hardest not to allow rage to take over her Body and Mind when learning news (true or untrue) of her partner having an affair. It is in these moments that an opportunity presents itself to practice self-soothing and distress tolerance. Cue music- a simple yet helpful go-to tool to calm our minds when experiencing intense emotions.
Last Exhibit: Renovations under the Pyramid- Transformation. Emotion transformation refers to the process of changing or transforming one emotion into another. The ability to transform a maladaptive emotion (the not so great feeling we experience when difficult emotions are present) into an adaptive one (ones that can be communicated and expressed effectively) is clearly a valuable skill, and research suggests that this is a purely emotion-based skill (Greenberg, 2004).
So, maybe there was a helpful solution to The Carter partnership? Was it Emotion Focused Therapy? In any case, what better way to proclaim relational resilience.
If you’re looking for a practical way to re-connect with your partner, check out this Relationship App from The Gottman Institute:
In addition to this app, the Gottman institute has a wealth of information for same sex couples as well.