It’s heeeeeerrreee!!! The In Session episode with Kathryn Rheem.
I think we resonate with certain EFT masters for different reasons. For me, there’s just something about Kathryn Rheem I’ve always been drawn to. Watching her webinars, it’s plain to see that she is so freaking smart. She is able to conceptualize Pursuers and Withdrawers unlike anyone else, and explain her conceptualization with such clarity. She also seems to have this nice quality about her that she kind of knows what’s up. I think it would be hard to bullshit Kathryn Rheem. I just love that combo of empathy and strength.
When I knew Becca Jorgensen would be having her on “In Session” I got excited months in advance. I had “KATHRYN RHEEM!!” written in my planner. And guys, she did not disappoint.
I really lucked out with this episode. First of all, it was with one of her ongoing couples. I find this so much more valuable than just watching therapists do Live sessions for trainings. The Live sessions are great, don’t get me wrong, but the ongoing sessions are the ones you and I have every day. And you see the relationship, the couples be more who they are, and the normal fluff that can get in the way. This episode was also a treat because it showed a male pursuer, and I actually have many male pursuer clients and find them quite challenging. AND it showed a Stage 2 Pursuer Softening with that client. It was so helpful to see Kathryn allow the Pursuer to lean in and out throughout the process in order to regulate himself, versus a continuous holding his feet to the fire of the primary emotions.
There is so much I could share with you about this episode it’s hard to pick just a few things. Let me share two conceptualizing gems, and a few ways she worded things that I saw really helped the Pursuer connect to their emotions.
“No human is capable for holding another’s secondary emotion.”
Ahhh! When I heard this it made so much sense. She said she had helped the couple understand this paradigm shift in the last session. Doesn’t that feel right? It’s impossible to hold a partner’s annoyance, frustration, and anger AT US. We can hold a partner’s loneliness, hurt, vulnerability, and need FOR US.
She also had a moment where she shared she didn’t like what she said (she was so vulnerable and human about this), and Becca Jorgensen said something really lovely about the fact that in Stage 2, “these moments are new for everyone in the room, including the therapist.” That helped me do a big exhale, that these moments we long for are also new for us, and we all three will stumble a bit as we are in this new territory. For the record, Kathryn’s “mistake” was like, nothing. She’s got some high standards for herself.
She was so gifted in her craft of language, and the small ways she shaped her words to help the Pursuer connect more to his primary emotions and his scary vulnerable place inside. I wanted to share some, and I hope even without context they will be valuable.
“I wonder if I can help you make contact with what’s happening on the inside …”
“Could we experiment with sharing that feeling? My assumption is that it could create a bonding moment, but I get that the fear says, ‘it’s too much,’”
“So you do a lot with this ache inside … I want to help make it so normal to share, it’s data that your marriage needs.”
“Let’s make this fair to you, honoring the cognitive part that can see all the blessings you have, and this other part that longs to know you’re loved anyway, you’re accepted anyway.”
“You’re strong, there’s a little bit of room left in that backpack … I’ll just get stronger instead, but there’s this dark side of getting stronger …”
She has this way of being transparent about the process that doesn’t sound psychoeducational at all. Like a really loving mom, coming alongside someone saying, “here we go, this is what we’re doing, here’s a big step, there you go! You did it, that was scary but you did it.” I think I could use all the phrases she said above in various sessions to help guide clients to connect more with their inner experience in a safe way.
Thank you Becca and Kathryn for helping us learn from you!
Kathryn shared she has put together a video series on this same couple doing step-by-step Withdrawer Re-engagement and Pursuer Softening. It’s not out yet, but check her website for when it will be ready.
In Session is seven sessions with seven different EFT trainers showing their work and explaining their thought process. Learn more here.
*disclaimer: I was given this course for free in exchange for my honest opinion about it.