There is one certified EFT in Cleveland, Christina Juguilon, LCSW, Cleveland VA medical center, tel(NNN) NNN-NNNN In addition there is Marlene Lefton, LISW practicing in Newbury & Willoughby Heights,(NNN) NNN-NNNN
I'm particularly concerned that your wife could have an extremely painful, shamefilled history with her period, and it may take a very sensitive approach to help her feel safe with that. Both of these being women helps.. Doesn't the issue of PMS come up in the very first session? It certainly should in EFCT. Shame and Fear are the core killers in intimate partnerships, with Shame fomenting Confusion, Withdrawal, Self-Blame, and also as defense: Attacking the other person. Other research has shown that before Every escalation in a couple fight comes a Moment of Shame (Hurt, Humiliation, Disappointment, Embarrassment, or Guilt). If your wife bears a load of shame from her PMS history, she's going to have hundreds of triggers for it, and certainly any mention of it would ring her bells.
I'm not so sure that EFT therapists are specialized enough in Shame by itself to have good methods for de-fanging it. But I am.
If you get practice in noticing when you have a "shame moment" without judging it good or bad, right or wrong, you can slow down some of your fights. You probably won't gain control once an escalation gets going, but you'll be able to notice when the first flicker happens before a brush-fire starts. So here's what you need to know.
Shame (as a family of emotions) occurs when either of the two positive emotion families, Interest/Excitement or Enjoyment/Joy is interrupted or impeded, but not yet extinguished. So if you're excited about something and you open your mouth to tell your wife, and she's preoccupied with something else, or even in physical or emotional pain inside of herself, then she won't reflect your interest back--so you're Disappointed, but you might not notice at first. You might do one or two of four evasive moves: They're called The Compass of Shame
Withdraw (leave the scene, take your attention completely away from her--and that could feel like insensitivity to her)
Attack-Self (blame yourself internally, think you were stupid, feel depressed, wish you hadn't opened your mouth) She might notice you're depressed and feel guilty for disappointing you, but then hate feeling guilty SO often.
Avoid (switch your attention quickly to something else completely that reignites your interest/excitement or enjoyment, like the TV or the Internet, the happy Dog, the Work you brought home to do) She would notice that you've gone away and figure that you Just Don't Like Her most of the time, that you don't want to be bothered with her--that would be Attack-Other on her part.
Attack-Other (think to yourself: there she goes again! I can never get through to her, it's like living with a mamabear! What a piece of work!) If she tries to get contact with you then, you're likely to show by tone or actions that you're down on her, and Now the Brush Fire Takes Off!
Now what you do is keep a notebook for every Shame-Moment vis-a-vis your wife (and her vis-a-vis you) for a week. You'll NEVER be able to count the Sh-Ms once a row gets started, so don't even try. It's the FIRST ONE of YOURS in a series that you'll jot down later. Often you won't notice Hurt, Embarrassment, Awkwardness, Shame etc, but one of the four poles of the Shame Compass will show up: You backed off or got REALLY cautious (Withdraw); felt stupid, out of place, unwanted (Attack-Self); switched away from her to something else or made a joke (Avoid); or thought something negative or smirked sarcastically (Attack-Other).
It's not Good or Bad that you had a Shame Moment, but it's Good that you've jotted it down afterwards, WITH the 1 or 2 or 3 compass responses you made.
You DON'T SHARE YOUR SHAME MOMENTS WITH YOUR WIFE, you DON'T KEEP SCORE. You're learning about how YOU feel and deal with those glitches in the positive feelings you crave so much with each other.
After several days you might start revisiting some of your habitual Shame Moments and experimenting mentally with other ways to respond instead of what you did. Shame Moments are very uncomfortable, but you can respond in at least two ways that may help in the relationship: 1. experiment with whatever might feel best to both you and your wife--that's a work in progress, or 2. act in ways that your own moral system bids you to act: like apologizing, like putting yourself in the other's shoes, even though she's SO different than you some of the time. [eg my wife has Chronic Pain, and that predisposes to emotional overload, which manifests as distress/stressed-out or Anger; but I don't have chronic pain except now, since 2 teeth were extracted on Monday]
Your wife is probably going to have a much bigger challenge dealing with this self-monitoring exercise than you, and she doesn't even know you're consulting online: Problem. So you could try it first for a week yourself. Then IF you've been able to make it work for yourself you'll be in better shape to present it to her--because you might already have a better handle on your own kindling points for the brushfires. If she does do it too, it would make sense to start with one of the "good weeks" between you.
Then it's going to be important to have a conference with me to go over your results. That's not very possible on this website, so you could look up my research article Low Dose Naltrexone for Disease Prevention online, since I'm the first author. Low dose naltrexone is a generic drug that stops flares and progression of autoimmune diseases, & strengthens both endorphin and immune systems. So it's also a mildly effective pain manager and antidepressant. But I'm not suggesting that you use it, just read the article.
EFCT doesn't use my exercise on shame monitoring, but you could still speak to the EFT person about shame and PMS to see how she responds. By the way I wasn't suggesting that a therapist could substitute having lots of personal therapy for having lots of good training, but that personal therapy indicates a commitment to viewing self-knowledge and self-development as a way of life and viewing oneself as a wounded healer, so dysfunctional issues are not presumed to be only present in one's clients.
My teeth hurt. Your comments are welcome. I'm suggesting that the Shame Moment awareness log might be good preparation for making the progress sooner that your dedication has deserved for some time.