The method: Emotionally Focused Therapy.
The number of sessions: you can leave whenever you like or think it is not necessary anymore. But the ones who finish the therapy have an average of 15 and 20 sessions. The number of sessions depends on how much couples practise at home. This takes courage, because talking can lead to a conflict. At the same time these conflicts are welcome working material in therapy and helps us to understand what how your pattern looks like.
Another aspect that has a positive effect of the number of sessions is the frequency in attending. My experience up till now, is that couples that visit on an average of once a week, make progress, couples with an average visit of once every two weeks, tend to stand still (it doesn’t get better, but it also doesn’t get worse), couples with an average visit of once every three weeks or less, tend to stand still or even get worse.) So being committed to therapy safes time and money.
After 5 sessions there usually is some change visible. If not, and you came with an average of once per week, I will ask you, if I may discuss you (as a case) with my supervisor or my intervision group (my peer collegues), whom I meet regularly. You will remain anonymous and this will be free of charge.
Offline therapy: this means we meet face to face. This is always possible in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I also give therapy in Antwerp, Brussels, Paris and London, if I can see at least three couples who are willing to have a cluster of sessions. The improvement of train connections has made this possible and I love these cities. The costs will be a bit higher, but it safes couples the hustle of travelling.
My preference is offline-therapy. The big advantage of face-to-face is that couples need to travel, even if it is in their own town. In this travelling time they are already busy with what is coming. They are “warmed-up” when they visit me. And when they leave, they can talk about it afterwards. This is a non-specific factor that has a positive effect on the therapy. Second is, that I can see more non-verbal communication. Third couples see each other better, not just me (on a screen). This helps creating a bond.
Online therapy: Since Corona entered our lives I also give online-therapy. The intake, the first session, is on the phone. If the both of you decide to continue, we use Zoom for the other sessions. I cannot guarantee this system cannot be hacked or that the conversations are 100% secured. You should be aware of this. The advantage of online therapy is that more people can have access to an EFT-relationship counsellor with experience in open relationships. Someone who will understand where they are and who does not judge their relationship form. It also means some preparation is needed to create a supportive setting. Like getting ready half an hour in advance, e.g. by going for a walk together, instead of hastily doing the dishes before you sit down. It will also mean that I will ask more often what is going on in your mind, your body or between the both of you. Next to that we need to make agreements on what happens if one of you gets angry, and that these agreements are followed. With other words, to create a safe environment to work in, I will need your commitment, that it is safe at all times.
It helps if you have an average attendance of once a week.
Weekly sessions: This happens with online therapy and for couples near Rotterdam.
Biweekly double sessions: This is usually done by couples who have to travel between 1 – 1,5 hours. They have two sessions on one day, e.g. one before lunch and one after lunch.
A cluster of 4 sessions in two days once a month: Couples who have to travel more than two hours prefer this. This is also the only option when I travel to Antwerp/Brussels, Paris or London.
Costs are €100 ex 21% VAT per hour for sessions in Rotterdam or online and as long as the sessions are between 9.00 and 18.00 (Dutch time). First session starts at 9.00, the last one at 16.30.
Session in the evening or in other cities are €125 ex 21% vat.
Your input would mean a lot to get a better understanding of open relationships and therapy. I will invite both of you to fill in some questionnaires before the therapy starts. You will remain anonymous.
But don’t feel obliged, and don’t let this stop you from going into therapy. I take the liberty of asking you, but I hope you feel and take the liberty to so ‘no’ if you don’t want to. Even if you participate you are free to stop at any time or to have your data removed if you change your mind.