Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

 

What is EFT & does it work?

EFT was developed by Dr Sue Johnson and Dr Leslie Greenberg in the 1980’s and over 30 years of research has found this to be a highly effective form of couple’s therapy. The research has shown that after completing EFT, 70-75% of couples are no longer distressed and overall 90% improve from where they started. These findings were found to apply to all couples, no matter the level of severity of their problems when they started therapy.
EFT is based on adult attachment theory – the idea that humans have an innate need to connect with another key person. Psychologists have long understood that this basic need for connection begins with the parent/caregiver-child relationship, but we now know that this fundamental need continues into adulthood, and that it is healthy to seek out a bonded partnership with another person.

EFT helps partners understand the current dynamic in their relationship and their often all too familiar negative cycles and stuck points. Couples are taught to recognise and avoid their old distressing patterns, which creates more safety in the relationship to then learn new ways to interact with each other and heal past hurts.

Fundamental to EFT is the role of deeper emotions in informing us about core needs and values. When partners are taught to share their more vulnerable feelings with each other in a new way that builds closeness and security they begin to develop a stronger attachment bond and they are better able to navigate emotional situations and life’s challenges.

The three stages of EFT

1. Initially the focus in on de-escalating the conflict (or avoidance in some couples that have become very disconnected from each other). The couple is guided to understand their negative cycle of interaction so that they can identify and exit these damaging patterns of relating to each other.

2. The next stage is to restructure the couples interactions in a more honest and productive way, helping them to develop a way of talking to each other that brings their partner towards them rather than pushing them away. Couples learn to express their needs without blaming, allowing them to become more open and responsive to each other.

3. The final stage involves consolidation and maintenance, where couples are able to see how they fell into their negative patterns, and they are empowered to change those patterns and navigate life’s challenges as securely bonded partners.

Find out More

Contact us to find out more and to arrange an initial couples session.

You can also learn more about EFT by watching a video from Dr Sue Johnson, one of the founders of this therapy.