Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically supported treatment for couples experiencing relationship distress. EFT therapists use the pursue-withdraw cycle to track and attend to couples’ patterns of interaction and attachment behaviors. However, the relationships between pursue-withdraw categorization and gender and attachment in clinical couples are underexplored. We examined the theoretical mechanisms associated with these relationships and analyzed data from an RCT evaluating EFT’s effectiveness addressing couples’ relationship satisfaction and depression. Our analysis indicated that study therapists categorized all men as withdrawers and women as pursuers. Conversely, the relationship between attachment and pursue-withdraw categorization was non-significant. Clinical implications are discussed.
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- clinical research
- couple therapy