Emotional Safety

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: The Days, “Make My Love Your Home”

Takeaways: Emotional safety is the key ingredient to healthy, happy, lasting relationships. But most people have never heard about it. Learning what emotional safety is, why it’s so important, and how to provide emotional safety in your relationship can help you create stronger connections with others.


Here’s some real-deal, bottom-line relationship advice from an experienced marriage counselor: If you want to feel more connected, improve your communication, have more emotional and physical intimacy, and create a secure, satisfying relationship, there’s one irreplaceable ingredient that you must have for everything else to fall into place…. Emotional Safety.

Emotional safety is so important that it’s the foundational goal of one of the most widely researched, effective evidence-based forms of marriage counseling and couples therapy, called “Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.” Here at Growing Self, most of the Denver marriage counselors, online couples therapists, and relationship coaches on our team use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to guide their work with couples… because it works.

What Is Emotional Safety in Relationships?

The easiest way to understand the importance of safety is to reflect on what happens between you and your partner when you don’t have it. If you’re feeling angry, hurt, frustrated or disrespected…you’re not going to behave well with your partner. 

Even if you know, intellectually, what you should do to show them love and respect… you don’t. And understandably! 

Until you feel emotionally safe and learn how to help your partner feel emotionally safe with you, conflict and miscommunication is inevitable.

This is exactly the reason why many attempts at marriage counseling and couples therapy don’t work — because the majority of couples counselors out there aren’t trained in evidence-based forms of couples counseling like EFCT. 

Consequently they don’t know how to help their couples focus on their foundation of emotional safety first, before attempting to make bigger changes in their relationship. Without that, couples counseling doesn’t work. Couples try to make changes, and they don’t stick. Couples can’t make real and lasting change when they’re not focusing on what really matters: Emotional Safety.

How Do You Provide Emotional Safety in a Relationship?

So, how can you provide emotionally safe environment in your relationship with your partner, and in other relationships in your life? Here are ten ways to create and maintain emotional safety in relationships:

  1. Practice Open Communication: Cultivate an environment where both partners feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and needs without fear of judgment or retaliation. Encourage dialogue, not monologue. Ask questions about how your partner is feeling and share your own feelings in a vulnerable (but never aggressive) way.
  2. Show Empathy and Understanding: Strive to understand your partner’s perspective, even if you don’t agree with it. Validate their emotions and show compassion towards their experiences.
  3. Maintain Consistency: Be reliable and consistent in your actions and behaviors. Consistency builds trust, showing your partner they can depend on you even in times of uncertainty.
  4. Respect Boundaries: Recognize and honor each other’s personal boundaries, including emotional, physical, and digital boundaries. Boundaries are a way of teaching other people what to expect from us, which helps us feel more secure in relationships.
  5. Provide Support without Solving: Offer support and a listening ear to your partner without always jumping to solve their problems. Sometimes, simply being there and offering understanding is more valuable than offering solutions, which can feel invalidating.
  6. Practice Non-Judgmental Listening: Listen to understand, not to respond. Avoid passing judgment or offering unsolicited advice when your partner is sharing something personal or sensitive. Learn more about how to become a better listener.
  7. Cultivate Trust: Build trust through honesty, transparency, and integrity. Trust is the cornerstone of emotional safety, and it’s earned through consistent, trustworthy actions over time.
  8. Encourage Independence and Growth: Support your partner’s individual interests, friendships, and growth opportunities. A healthy relationship allows both partners to grow individually and together.
  9. Show Affection and Appreciation: Regularly express love, affection, and appreciation for your partner. Small acts of kindness and words of affirmation can significantly contribute to feeling emotionally safe and valued.
  10. Work on Conflict Resolution Skills: Learn to address and resolve conflicts in a healthy, constructive way. Avoid blame, criticism, and defensiveness, and instead focus on finding mutual solutions that respect both partners’ needs and feelings.

Last but not least, get support! Marriage and family therapists understand the importance of emotional safety in relationships, and we are trained to help you and your partner cultivate it in yours. If you’d like to do this transformative work with a Growing Self counselor, schedule your free consultation.

How to Create Emotional Safety in Your Relationship

YOU deserve better. You deserve real relationship advice, that will help you improve your relationship and that’s what you’re getting on this episode the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. I’m putting on my marriage counselor hat and I’m sharing the secrets behind how to create emotional safety in your relationship. We’ll be discussing:

  • What is emotional safety, and why it’s important
  • How to determine if your relationship is emotionally safe or not
  • How to begin increasing emotional safety in your relationship
  • The emotional intelligence skills that will help you increase emotional safety
  • Using the principles of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to improve your relationship
  • The emotional-safety crushing behaviors to absolutely avoid
  • The most important things YOU can do to transform your relationship

This episode is my very special Valentine’s Day gift for YOU. I hope you listen, and that it helps you love your relationship.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: One of the “conversation starting” tools I mentioned in this episode is my free “How Healthy is Your Relationship Quiz.” If you’d like to take this, alone or with your partner, you can get the link here.


  1. Catherall, D.R. (2006). Emotional Safety: Viewing Couples Through the Lens of Affect (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203961544
  2. Establishing Safety in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: A Single-Case Process Study. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12398

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

Emotional Safety

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: The Days, “Make My Love Your Home”

Free, Expert Advice — For You.

Subscribe To The Love, Happiness, and Success Podcast

Marriage Counseling Questions | Couples Therapy Questions

If you’re considering getting involved in marriage counseling, couples therapy, or relationship coaching you probably have questions! Get your marriage counseling questions answered, right here.


  1. Wow, that is exactly what we need. What is exciting is that this is something I can work on myself, making me emotionally safe. I don’t need to impose anything on my wife. If I can do this, that is going to make a big difference to our relationship.

    1. John — It makes me so happy that this article resonated with you and inspired you to take action. Emotional safety is so essential to relationships and it really is something that you can improve unilaterally. Let me know how it goes!
      xoxo Dr. Lisa

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