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10 Ways to Rebuild Trust in Your Relationship - Emotionally Focused Therapy

A Relationship without trust is like a car without gas.

You can stay in it but it won't go anywhere.


Trust is the cornerstone of any meaningful and lasting relationship. It's the invisible bond that binds two individuals together, fostering intimacy, vulnerability, and mutual respect. However, when trust is broken due to betrayal, deception, or other actions, the path to rebuilding it can feel daunting and overwhelming. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, offers a compassionate and transformative approach to help couples restore trust, heal wounds, and strengthen connection. In this blog, we'll explore the principles of EFT, share insights on rebuilding trust after betrayal, and provide practical steps to foster healing and connection.

Understanding Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotionally Focused Therapy, developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, focuses on understanding and reshaping the emotional responses and interactions within a relationship. It emphasizes the importance of creating a secure emotional bond, fostering open communication, and addressing underlying issues that may contribute to trust issues and conflict.

1) The Impact of Betrayal:

Betrayal often stems from deeper emotional, psychological, or relational issues that need to be addressed. Both partners need to understand the emotional impact of betrayal and the underlying emotions and needs that led to the betrayal.

2) Self-Reflection and Understanding:

Reflect on the underlying emotions, fears, and needs that contributed to the betrayal. This may involve exploring past traumas, insecurities, or emotional wounds that need healing.

3) Fostering Emotional Connection and Understanding:

Emotionally Focused Therapy emphasizes the importance of fostering emotional connection, understanding, and empathy between partners. This is crucial for rebuilding trust and strengthening the emotional bond in the relationship.

4) Open and Honest Communication:

Foster a safe and open environment where both partners feel comfortable expressing their feelings, concerns, and fears. Engage in meaningful conversations to understand each other's perspectives and experiences.

5) Fostering Empathy and Understanding:

Cultivate empathy and understanding towards each other, recognizing the emotional pain, fears, and needs that led to the betrayal. Avoid blaming, judging, or criticizing each other, and focus on understanding and supporting each other in the healing process.

6) Promoting Healing and Rebuilding Trust:

Rebuilding trust after betrayal is a complex and delicate process that requires patience, commitment, and effort from both partners. Emotionally Focused Therapy provides a compassionate and structured approach to guide couples through the healing process.

7) Commit to Healing and Growth:

Both partners need to commit to the healing process and be willing to work together to rebuild trust. This may involve attending therapy sessions, engaging in individual counselling, or participating in trust-building exercises.

8) Practice Forgiveness and Compassion:

Embrace forgiveness as a way to heal and move forward. Let go of resentment, anger, and hurt, and focus on rebuilding the emotional connection, understanding, and trust in your relationship.

9) Rebuilding Safety and Emotional Security:

Re-establishing safety, emotional security, and connection in the relationship is crucial for rebuilding trust. Foster a secure emotional bond, and be transparent, reliable, and consistent in your words and actions to show that you can be trusted.

10) Seeking Professional Help:

Consider working with a qualified therapist who can provide guidance, support, and tools to understand and address the underlying emotions and issues contributing to the betrayal.

Rebuilding trust after betrayal is a challenging and transformative journey that requires understanding, empathy, and a genuine commitment to healing and growth from both partners. By incorporating the principles of Emotionally Focused Therapy, couples can begin to mend the trust, heal wounds, and strengthen their bond.

If you find yourself struggling with trust issues in your relationship, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A qualified therapist can provide you with the guidance, support, and tools needed to navigate through your trust issues, understand underlying patterns, and create a healthier, more fulfilling relationship. Trust is worth rebuilding, and with the right tools and support, you and your partner can embark on a transformative journey towards healing, renewed connection, and a stronger bond.

A.R.E. Questionnaire – Hold Me Tight - Sue Johnson

From your viewpoint, is your partner accessible to you?

1. I can get my partner’s attention easily. T or F

2. My partner is easy to connect with emotionally. T or F

3. My partner shows me that I come first with him/her. T or F

4. I am not feeling lonely or shut out in this relationship. T or F

5. I can share my deepest feelings with my partner. He or she will listen. T or F


From your viewpoint, is your partner responsive to you?

1. If I need connection and comfort, he/she will be there for me. T or F

2. My partner responds to signals that I need him/her to come close. T or F

3. I find I can lean on my partner when I am anxious or unsure. T or F

4. Even when we fight or disagree, I know that I am important to my partner and we will find a way to come together. T or F

5. If I need reassurance about how important I am to my partner, I can get it. T or F


Are you positively and emotionally engaged with each other?

1. I feel comfortable being close to and trusting my partner. T or F

2. I can confide in my partner about almost anything. T or F

3. I feel confident, even when we are apart, that we are connected. T or F

4. I know my partner cares about my joys, hurts, and fears. T or F

5. I feel safe enough to take emotional risks with my partner. T or F 

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