Wants and Needs: Long-distance Relationships (LDRs) Through the Lens of Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT)

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Laura Meyer

Second Advisor

Michael Karson

Third Advisor

Neal Brugman


Long-distance relationship (LDR), Geographically-close relationship (GCR), Emotion-focused therapy (EFT)


A long-distance relationship (LDR) is an intimate partnership where the people involved live at such a geographical distance from each other that they are unable to see one another on a consistent basis. Whether the relationship began geographically close or was established from the beginning as an LDR, these choices are undertaken for a variety of reasons. There is an abundance of research on LDRs, but no research has been done through the lens of emotion-focused therapy (EFT). EFT, a therapeutic approach focused on addressing emotional desires in relationships, classifies emotions as extensions of human needs, rather than something that would be simply an expression. This paper outlines some common sources of difficulties and benefits associated with LDRs and how EFT can assist mental health professionals in the conceptualization of clients engaged in LDRs to maximize their therapeutic understanding.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


25 pgs

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