What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

  1. Emotionally-Focused Therapy
  2. Humanistic/Experiential Theory of Carl Rogers
  3. Structural Theories of Salvador Minuchin
  4. Attachment Theory of John Bowlby
  5. How hands-on is the therapist in a EFT-style therapy?
  6. Please share three different real but anonymized examples of what EFT looks in the room
  7. Please share three or more issue areas EFT is particularly helpful in working through. Why do you think that is?
  8. How long does a EFT treatment generally last?
  9. Are there certain personality types that would work especially well with EFT?
  10. Are there certain personality types that may not enjoy working with EFT?
  11. How do you know if EFT is working for someone? How do you know if it’s not?
  12. How should a therapy-goer prepare for a EFT session? What type of work is entailed?
  13. What is your favorite thing about EFT?
  14. What advice might you give to a therapy-seeker wondering if EFT is right for them?
  15. What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?
  16. What are the Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy?
  17. How Was EFT Developed?
  18. How Is EFT Different From Other Therapies?
  19. How Does That Translate to the Way Sessions Work?
  20. When Is EFT Useful and When is it Not Useful?
  21. How Does Emotionally Focused Therapy Help Couples?
  22. Conclusion
  23. Emotionally Focused Therapy
  24. Development of Emotionally Focused Therapy 
  25. Theory of Emotionally Focused Therapy 
  26. Techniques Used In Emotionally Focused Therapy 
  27. Emotionally Focused Therapy for Families
  28. Is Emotionally Focused Therapy Effective? 
  29. What is EFT?
  30. Strengths of Emotionally Focused Therapy
  31. EFT for Couples (EFCT)
  32. EFT for Individuals (EFIT)
  33. EFT for Families (EFFT)
  34. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) – TherapyTribe
  35. What Can a Person Learn from EFT?
  36. What are the Main Functions of EFT Therapists?
  37. What Issues Do EFT Therapists Typically Treat?
  38. What Happens During the Initial EFT Therapy Sessions?
  39. What Should I Look for in an EFT Therapist?
  40. References

Emotionally-Focused Therapy

What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

To save you a lot of reading, I’ll hit one major takeaway from each of those theories:

Humanistic/Experiential Theory of Carl Rogers

Emphasizes the great capacity that human beings have for growth as well as the positive adaptiveness of our emotional responses and needs, with less emphasis on deciding what’s “wrong” with a client (“pathologizing”).

Structural Theories of Salvador Minuchin

Basically, we do not live in a vacuum and we especially do not live in a vacuum when we’re in a partnership. Structural theory focuses on how our behaviors interact with, affect, and elicit various responses from those with whom we are in relationships. A classic EFT example: “I withdraw because you nag, and you nag because I withdraw.”

Attachment Theory of John Bowlby

Attachment theory is historically related to how infants attach to their mothers and then relate similarly to those around them.

In EFT, we look at how attachment applies to adult relationships and forms the foundation for how we understand that great, big four-letter word, “LOVE.

” Attachment theory informs our understanding of why it’s so painful and scary when we are betrayed or hurt by a partner — it basically feels as scary as if an infant had been abandoned by its mother.

How hands-on is the therapist in a EFT-style therapy?

The emotionally focused therapist is definitely more hands-on and is characterized as active, engaged, and flexible. The role of the EFT therapist is to serve as a “process consultant,” a “choreographer,” and most of all, an egalitarian collaborator who works with the couple to discover the possibilities of the couple’s relationship right alongside them.

The EFT therapist is definitely not a detached blank slate or passive observer; nor do they act as coaches or experts of the couple or their needs.

The EFT therapist style is intentional, validating, powerfully empathetic, which is exactly how it is possible for partners to feel accepted and safe to explore their emotions.

Please share three different real but anonymized examples of what EFT looks in the room

EFT Example 1: Therapist helps partner “Alex” to increase awareness of inner experience and the experience of a relational interaction that just took place:

  • “What happened there? I noticed you just flinched a little when ‘Kris’ touched your leg and then you were silent. What happened for you right then?”

EFT Example 2: Therapist reframes husband “Mike’s” tendency to shut down when his wife becomes angry with him as “Mike’s” feeling a failure, rather than “Mike’s” being “cold” as his wife has named it. She also asks him whether she is understanding his experience correctly, because he is the expert of his own feelings.

  • “So when you hear your wife’s anger you move away — try to forget it — and she sees — what did she say?  — she sees ‘coldness.’ But in fact, you are trying to deal with a huge sense of defeat, a sense of failure, a fear that you can never please her — so you shut down and shut her out. Am I getting it?”

EFT Example 3: Therapist helps Camila communicate (“enact”) her vulnerability (“attachment needs”) to her wife, Amy:

  • “Can you look at her and tell her please, ‘When you yell, I hear that I’m hopeless—I have already lost you, so I shut down to stop the pain’ — can you tell her?”

Please share three or more issue areas EFT is particularly helpful in working through. Why do you think that is?

  1. Betrayal/mistrust

  2. Arguing

  3. Lack of intimacy/connectedness

  4. Family stress

  5. Stress brought on by life transition and/or family change

EFT is particularly helpful in these areas because helps get to the core issues underlying the conflict and the relationship distress and helps couples to understand why their emotions are heightened as a result of such stress, rather than shame them for “getting so emotional about it.”

How long does a EFT treatment generally last?

EFT is designed to be implemented in 8-20 sessions of couples therapy.   

Are there certain personality types that would work especially well with EFT?

EFT is designed to work with couples, and therefore inherently and intentionally works to meet many different personalities and is not a one-size-fits-all method. This is why much of the early stages of therapy focus on establishing a positive therapeutic alliance with both partners.

In general, EFT works best for couples who still have some emotional investment in their relationship and some willingness to learn about how they may have each contributed to the problems in the relationship.

Research has shown that EFT works best when the couple’s alliance with the therapist is high (hello, therapist matchmaking!).

Are there certain personality types that may not enjoy working with EFT?

EFT is not designed to be used with violent couples, with whom expressions of feelings are ly to be dysfunctional and could potentially place a vulnerable partner at higher risk. EFT is not generally used with couples who have already made the decision or started the process of separating.

How do you know if EFT is working for someone? How do you know if it’s not?

There are some specific change points in EFT that the therapist works toward during the process:

  • The first change goal is trying to “de-escalate” the couple in conflict by helping them to identify and name the negative cycles and patterns and helping the couple to understand it from a different perspective.
  • The second major change point is trying to engage the partner who tends to withdraw during the couple conflict, and have that partner feel safe to assert themselves in session.
  • A final major change can be observed when the previously “hostile” or more vocal/active partner starts to risk expressing their own needs and vulnerabilities.
  • The ultimate change results in spouses/partners becoming more open with each other about their needs and fears which strengthens the bond (and their understanding and appreciation of that bond) between them.

How should a therapy-goer prepare for a EFT session? What type of work is entailed?

Because so much of successful treatment outcomes have to do with the therapeutic relationship, one concrete recommendation for preparing would be for a client to try to have a consultation call prior to the session and get a feel for their initial comfort level with the therapist. If the conversation feels safe, comfortable, and somewhat natural (given the inherent constraints of brief phone calls with strangers), that would be a great preparatory task.

After that, I would encourage EFT-bound therapy-goers to come with an open mind. Depending on your past experiences with individual or couple therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy might look a little different than what you expected. There are going to be less worksheets, prompts, and homework, and more feeling, expressing, listening, and interacting throughout the session.

Of course, one might also prepare, any other therapy session, by spending some time thinking about the issues you would to work on, improve, or areas where you’re feeling stuck.

What is your favorite thing about EFT?

My favorite thing about EFT is the style of the therapist. When I was trained in the technique, the therapist presentation and style is a mix of being both incredibly warm, yet also very talented in using warmth and understanding for gentle confrontation that helps clients bring heightened awareness to strong, important feelings that inform recurring behaviors and interactions.

I also love how the attachment theory framework allows the therapist to reframe clients’ defensiveness, hurt, anger, shame, etc. as a natural reaction, rooted in how much they care for and need their partner for safety and security that is necessary to nearly all humans, and is hard-wired in us from infancy.

What advice might you give to a therapy-seeker wondering if EFT is right for them?

I would first encourage anyone who’s wondering to start by reaching out to a potential EFT therapist for a consultation call.

This can really be a low-risk/low-investment way to get a feel for the therapist and ask any questions that are coming to mind.

As mentioned above, so much of EFT has to do with the way in which the therapist relates to the client and how the therapist works to make the client feel comfortable in the therapy experience.

If the consultation feels good and you are able to get some initial questions answered in a way that feels comfortable for you, trying out a first session with the open mind we spoke about in Question 10.

What I wouldn’t do is let all this talk about “emotions” throw you off. Some might have a negative association with that word and can possible deter people who might feel that they aren’t an “emotional person.

” The degree to which you see yourself as outwardly emotional or connected with your feelings before trying out EFT is really not important.

It is the task of the therapist to spend the initial phases of the treatment focusing on relationship-building and creating a safe bond with the therapist for all individuals in the therapy room, which forms the foundation for safe exploration and understanding of emotion.

Источник: https://mywellbeing.com/therapy-101/emotionallyfocusedtherapy

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

EFT – what is it? First of all, note we are not talking about the new ‘tapping’ acupressure technique, but a tried and tested form of psychotherapy – Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Used mostly with couples and families but applicable to individuals, EFTis a therapy that focuses on the development of emotional intelligence and the importance of secure relationships.

Rather than seeing emotions as something to be controlled, EFT sees emotions as something to be explored and experienced, and as important guides to what we need or want that can lead toward personal growth for ourselves and our relationships.

What are the Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy?

First, the goal of EFT is to expand important emotional responses within relationships, and to organise those emotions (fighting about who loads the dishwasher is disorganised emotion, for example, because it’s inevitably about something else entirely).

Secondly, the goal is to identify the positions that are being taken within relationships (he’s irresponsible, I’m the victim) and shift these habitual positions to new, positive and supportive ways of interacting.

And lastly, the goal is to encourage secure bonds within relationships.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) EFT does tend to be a short-term therapy with a set number of sessions agreed on between client and therapist. How many sessions that will be is of course variable, but it is generally somewhere between 8-20 sessions.

How Was EFT Developed?

Emotionally Focused Therapy was created in America during the eighties by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. It draws from attachment theory.

Attachment theory suggests that humans are designed to have strong emotional bonds with others and actually require them to be happy and healthy. Attachment theory was originally based around studying infants and their primary caregivers, but at the time that Dr.

Johnson was forming her theories social psychologist Philip Shaver and others began talking about adult bonds. They extended the concepts of attachment theory to romantic relationships.

Johnson felt that the pain and huge emotional drama she was seeing between couples in a clinical setting was a need for attachment with each other. People get into pain when they cannot reach their attachment figures but feel cut off.

How Is EFT Different From Other Therapies?

Many forms of therapy could really be regarded as EST- Emotional Suppression Therapy. For example, during CBT a client is taught to break cycles of dramatic emotions and black-and-white thinking in favour of balanced thoughts and sourcing inner calm.

EFT seeks to resolve unpleasant emotions by working with them. It doesn’t see big emotions as destructive but potentially constructive and sources of useful information.

How Does That Translate to the Way Sessions Work?

In a psychodynamic or cognitive session the focus is more on conscious recognition of emotion, often that has been had in the past or recent past. The work is on ‘why’ that emotion occurred. It can be very much a ‘thinking’ process.

Emotionally Focused Therapy focuses on working with live emotion during sessions- the feelings that rise right there in the therapy room. It’s about understanding changing emotions and emotional processes going on in the present moment. EFT is also interested in how problems are produced, not just why. In some ways it’s a ‘feeling’ process.

When Is EFT Useful and When is it Not Useful?

EFT is useful when there is an unhelpful over-control of emotion in the client, whether that is a client who doesn’t allow themselves to feel too positive or joyful, or a client who doesn’t allow anger, sadness or shame. It helps couples and families who aren’t expressing how they really feel.

Research has proven Emotionally Focused Therapy to be useful in treating moderate depression, childhood abuse or deprivation, and general difficulties with day-to-day life including relating to others.

It is considered very effective for couples experiencing challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorders and chronic illness.

Emotionally Focused Therapy is less useful if someone is looking for short term therapy for something that involves an under-control of emotion, such as panic disorders or impulse disorders.

These would be better off treated with ‘EST’ treatments CBT, which provide coping skills. But that’s not to say that Emotionally Focused Therapy is not useful down the line for that client. EFT is also not suitable for couples in which there is on-going violence.

And it is best if there is addiction of any kind that the addiction is dealt with first.

How Does Emotionally Focused Therapy Help Couples?

According to Emotionally Focused Therapy, couples have relationship problems when they are feeling emotionally disconnected at important moments, which leads to judgement and anger and negative cycles ‘pursue-withdraw’ and ‘criticise-defend’.

EFT reframes what on the outside looks s negative communication into a client’s effort to get their need for attachment met. So provocative, dramatic and negative behaviour is looked at as a desperate need for connection, what Dr. Johnson calls ‘the howl for connection’.

In Emotionally Focused couples therapy the therapist creates a safe environment for a couple to express their experiences and emotions without being judged. As one partner watches the other release feelings and anxieties, they gain knowledge on how their actions and experiences affect the relationship.

This can lead to new ways of bonding and positivity instead of the previous cycles of diminishment.

The goal is to help the couple identify, accept and share their individual needs and emotions with each other, and learn to spot when they are starting to feel disconnected in their relationship.

While in theory it sounds simple, there can be a lot of ‘programming’ to overcome- the truth is that today’s Western culture encourages the belief that feeling lonely or needing the attention of a partner is shameful.

Having to ask for attention can cause anger that needs weren’t just ‘read’ by a partner.

An example would beone partner who is away at work more than usual, leaving the other partner feeling neglected.

Instead of letting the overworked partner know that they miss them, which would breed shame and vulnerability, the neglected partner becomes moody and reactive instead, and eventually the tension breaks out in a row over something completely different, such as money or childcare, with the real issue, not feeling attached, never identified or addressed. The overworked partner might go off with friends, thinking “I don’t need him/her”, and the other partner is left to either act a victim or get defensive, until the next time this cycle plays out.

While other types of couples therapy might suggest it’s simply ‘communication’ that is missing here, Dr. Johnson would suggest that it’s more than just communication. What is important is rather ‘responsiveness’- understanding what people need and fear.

Which she sees as “much more powerful than teaching people communication skills that they can’t use anyway when hot emotions come up.

” Emotionally Focused couples therapy ideally helps partners create an environment within their relationship that is safe enough for both to be vulnerable and share, to, in other words, have a healthy ‘attachment’.


Emotionally Focused Therapy helps you better identify, understand, explore, manage, and transform your emotional experiences. EFT is also wonderful at creating emotional connection between partners and family members. We live in a world where we are taught that being ‘independent’ is important, and that a ‘strong’ person needs nobody to survive.

Emotionally Focused Therapy suggest instead that allowing ourselves to be attached to the ones we love is actually a very good thing. Secure attachment is at the heart of strong relationships and allows us to feel safe and connected.

The relationship then helps us to reach our potential as it acts as a haven we can come back to after going out to take risks in the world at large.

If you have further questions about EFT Therapy, why not post them in the comments box below? We are always happy to help and respond.

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Источник: https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/emotionally-focused-therapy-eft.htm

Emotionally Focused Therapy

What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

Emotionally focused therapy, an intervention scientific study of adult love and bonding processes in couples, is designed to address distress in the intimate relationships of adults.

Strategies from emotionally focused therapy can also be used in family therapy to help family members connect and improve emotional attachment.

 Couples seeking counseling to improve their relationships may find this method a beneficial approach, as it can help people better understand both their own emotional responses and those of significant people in their lives. 

Therapists who provide emotionally focused couples therapy (as the approach is also known) typically work with couples and families to help facilitate the creation of secure, lasting bonds between intimate partners and family members and reinforce any preexisting positive bonds, with the goal of helping those in treatment increase security, closeness, and connection in intimate relationships. 

Development of Emotionally Focused Therapy 

Canadian psychologist Sue Johnson was the primary originator of emotionally focused therapy, which was developed in the 1980s and is currently used in private practices, hospital clinics, and training centers throughout the world. She and her colleagues founded The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) in 1998.

The Centre provides therapist training, which includes workshops, DVDs, audiotapes, and externships, as well as emotionally focused therapy certification for trainers, therapists, and supervisors. The Centre also facilitates clinical research studies.

 According to Johnson, the approach focuses on emotions because emotions are often left interventions, especially systemic interventions focusing on relationships. 

Emotion-focused therapy, an approach developed by Drs. Leslie Greenberg and Robert Elliot, also focuses on emotions, but this type of therapy is typically an individual therapy.

In one-on-one sessions, the therapist works to help the person in therapy examine personal emotions and emotional responses in order to better understand them.

This is a marked difference from emotionally focused therapy, which is most often participated in by couples working to develop understanding of their partners’ emotions as well as their own.

Theory of Emotionally Focused Therapy 

Attachment theory, the concept that people are made healthier by emotional contact and need to feel safe in their connections to others, helped guide the development of this approach.

Emotionally focused therapy is the concept that distress in intimate relationships is often related to deeply rooted fears of abandonment, as an individual’s emotional response to these fears may be harmful to relationship partners and put strain on a relationship.

When intimate partners are not able to meet each other’s emotional needs, they may become stuck in negative patterns of interaction driven by ineffective attempts to get each other to understand their emotions and related needs. 

It may be difficult for outsiders, therapists, and sometimes even for those in a relationship to understand why the emotional arguments and confrontations causing difficulty in the relationship start, and continue, to occur.

The theory behind emotionally focused therapy considers the key principle in conflict among couples to be insecurity in the attachment one has with one’s partner.

This insecurity may mean partners find themselves concerned by questions such as “Do you really love me?” “Am I important to you?” “Are you committed to our relationship?” “Can I trust you?” and so on.

 Emotionally focused therapy can help people address attachment-related insecurities and learn how to interact with their romantic partners in more loving, responsive, and emotionally connected ways, which can result in a more secure attachment. 

Emotionally focused therapy draws on Carl Rogers’ person-centered therapy, a non-directive approach to treatment in which people in treatment often gain a better self-understanding through speaking to a therapist who listens carefully and empathically.

Emotionally focused therapy expands on techniques from person-centered therapy and uses a scientifically validated theory of adult bonding to help couples understand not only their own emotions but also how back-and-forth patterns of emotional reactions operate in, and affect, relationships.

Techniques Used In Emotionally Focused Therapy 

Emotionally focused therapy involves nine treatment steps. In the initial sessions of treatment (the first four steps), the therapist will assess interaction styles of the couple and help deescalate conflict.

In the middle phases of treatment (steps five, six, and seven), the therapist and the couple work together to find ways to form new, stronger bonds in the relationship.

Changes are consolidated in steps seven through nine as treatment concludes. 

A couple might start therapy by learning ways to deescalate conflict about a commonly debated topic, such as finances, for example. Then, the couple begins to learn ways to express deeper feelings often covered up by common relationship conflicts, such as a lack of trust.

When couples are able to identify and discuss these deeper feelings with compassion, they are often able to form deeper bonds. The final stages of therapy help couples become better able to independently identify the attachment issues underlying conflict and to express related emotions in future interactions.

The therapy is considered complete when couples can reliably engage in changed interaction patterns learned in therapy outside of the therapy environment.  

The stages and steps of emotionally focused therapy are outlined below: Emotionally focused therapy can help people address attachment-related insecurities and learn how to interact with their romantic partners in more loving, responsive, and emotionally connected ways, which can result in a more secure attachment. 

Stage One: Cycle Deescalation

  • Step 1: Identify key issues of concern. 
  • Step 2: Identify ways negative patterns of interaction increase conflict when key issues arise.
  • Step 3: The therapist assists in the identification of unacknowledged fears and negative emotions related to attachment underlying negative interaction patterns. 
  • Step 4: The therapist reframes key issues for the couple in terms of negative patterns of interaction, underlying emotions and fears, and each individual’s attachment needs.

Stage Two: Changing Interaction Patterns

  • Step 5: Individuals are assisted in voicing both their attachment needs and deep emotions. 
  • Step 6: Partners are coached in ways to express acceptance and compassion for a partner's attachment needs and deep emotions.
  • Step 7: Partners are coached in the expression of attachment needs and emotions while also learning ways to discuss those issues ly to cause conflict. 

Stage Three: Consolidation and Integration

  • Step 8: The therapist coaches the couple in the use of new communication styles to talk about old problems and develop new solutions.
  • Step 9: The couple learns ways to use skills practiced in therapy outside of session and develops a plan to make new interaction patterns a consistent part of life after therapy. 

Emotionally Focused Therapy for Families

Emotionally focused therapy has been expanded and developed as a type of family therapy. The approach has proven successful in increasing attachment and a sense of belonging among members of families.

Accessing the emotions underlying interaction patterns between family members is a key goal in emotionally focused therapy for families.

All family members participating in the therapy are coached in the identification and expression of attachment-related emotions linked to conflict within the family, acceptance and compassion toward the emotions of others, and healthy, positive expression of personal needs and desires. 

Researchers studying outcomes of therapy are beginning to focus attention on this approach as a family therapy.

The developers recommend its use for families addressing major transitions, such as a child reaching adolescence.

This type of therapy has also been examined as a potential treatment for bulimia, and preliminary results indicate it is ly to be a helpful approach for in the treatment of this eating disorder. 

Is Emotionally Focused Therapy Effective? 

Emotionally focused therapy has been studied extensively, and a strong empirical base of evidence supports the intervention, which is research that has identified differences in how couples relate to each other and how these differences are critical to relationship distress and success.

Research examining outcomes for couples who have participated in emotionally focused therapy shows the therapy decreases distress within relationships and partners interact in more successful ways.

Follow-up studies conducted with those who participated in emotionally focused therapy showed the positive effects of the treatment continued for years after the therapy concluded. 


  1. Dankoski, M. E. (2003). Pulling on the heart strings: An emotionally focused approach to family life cycle transitions. Journal of Martial and Family Therapy, 27, 177-187. 
  2. Johnson, S. M. (2008). Emotionally focused couple therapy. In A. S. Gurman (Ed.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (pp. 107-137). New York, NY: The Guildford Press. 
  3. Johnson, S. M. (2008). My, how couples therapy has changed! Attachment, love and science. Retrieved from https://www.psychotherapy.net/article/couples-therapy-attachment
  4. Johnson, S. M., Maddeaux, C., & Blouin, J. (1998). Emotionally focused family therapy for bulimia. Psychotherapy, 35, 238-247.
  5. EFT Research. (2015, April). Retrieved from http://www.iceeft.com/images/PDFs/EFTResearch.pdf
  6. Yalom, V. (2011). Sue Johnson on emotionally focused therapy. Retrieved from https://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/sue-johnson-interview

Last Update:02-13-2018

Источник: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/emotionally-focused-therapy

What is EFT?

What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a well-known humanistic approach to psychotherapy formulated in the 1980’s and developed in tandem with the science of adult attachment, a profound developmental theory of personality and intimate relationships.

  This science has expanded our understanding of individual dysfunction and health as well as the nature of love relationships and family bonds.  Attachment views human beings as innately relational, social and wired for intimate bonding with others.

  The EFT model prioritizes emotion and emotional regulation as the key organizing agents in individual experience and key relationship interactions.

EFT is best known as a cutting edge, tested and proven couple intervention, but it is also used to address individual depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress (EFIT – Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy) and to repair family bonds (EFFT – Emotionally Focused Family Therapy).

  This model operationalizes the principles of attachment science using non-pathologizing experiential (paralleling Carl Rogers) and relational systems techniques (paralleling Salvador Minuchin) to focus on and change core organizing factors in both the self and key relationships.

Most EFT research to date has focused on outcome and process of change studies with couples, and EFT for couples is the gold standard for empirically validated intervention in this field.  Future research will focus on EFIT and EFFT.

  EFT has also generated many relationship education programs, for example Hold Me Tight:  Conversations for Connection and its online version www.holdmetightonline.

com, and Healing Hearts Together for couples dealing with cardiac dysfunction.

The popular basic 4-day Externship in EFT, taught in over 40 countries by ICEEFT certified trainers, is centered on working with individuals and dyads in distressed relationships and addressing dysfunctional patterns of emotion regulation and ways of engaging with one another that undermine secure bonding interactions, but it also outlines change techniques as used in EFIT sessions.  Participants learn to use the macro-intervention sequence, the EFT Tango, across the three modalities of therapy.  The path to competence in EFT and many learning resources are laid out below.

Please click to see some EFT Publications:

  • EFT Books
  • EFT Articles
  • EFT Chapters
  • EFT Non-English

For further information about EFT research, please click here.

Strengths of Emotionally Focused Therapy

  • EFT is clear, explicit research-based conceptualizations of individual growth, health and dysfunction and of relationship distress and adult love.
  • EFT is collaborative and respectful of clients, combining experiential Rogerian techniques with structural systemic interventions.
  • Change strategies and interventions are specified.
  • Key moves and moments in the change process have been mapped into three stages of therapy and key change events that predict success at the end of therapy.
  • EFT has been validated by over 30 years of empirical research. There is also research on the change processes and predictors of success.
  • EFT has been applied to many different kinds of problems and populations.

EFT for Couples (EFCT)

EFT is a short term (8 to 20 sessions) structured approach, originally developed for couple therapy and attachment science, formulated in the 1980’s. Interventions in EFCT integrate a humanistic, experiential approach to restructuring emotional experience and a systemic structural approach to restructuring interactions.

A substantial body of research now exists on the effectiveness of EFCT. This research shows large treatment effect sizes and stable results over time. EFCT is used successfully with many different kinds of couples in private practice, university training centers and hospital clinics.

Preliminary research exists for couples dealing with depression, with anxiety resulting from trauma, with medical illness and with forgiveness dilemmas. EFCT is used with varied cultural groups and educational levels across North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa and Asia.

It is used with traditional and non-traditional couples, including same-sex couples.


  • To expand and re-organize key emotional responses and, in the process, the organization of self.
  • To create a positive shift in partners interactional positions and patterns.
  • To foster the creation of a secure bond between partners.

EFT for Individuals (EFIT)

EFIT is an attachment science-based approach to individual therapy that, the other EFT interventions, EFCT for couples and EFFT for families, offers an integration of humanistic experiential interventions focused on reshaping intrapsychic experience and systemic interventions focused on reshaping patterns of engagement with significant others. Emotion is given precedence across treatment modalities given its powerful role in structuring both inner experience and motivation and key interactional patterns in relationships. Emotion links and organizes core experience and interaction.


  • To offer corrective experiences that positively impact models of self and other and shape stable, lasting change.
  • To offer transformative moments where vulnerability is encountered with balance.
  • To enable clients to move into the accessibility/openness, responsiveness and full engagement that characterises secure attachment with others.
  • To enable clients to shape a coherent sense of a competent self that can deal with existential life issues and become a fully alive human being.

EFT for Families (EFFT)

EFFT follows the principles and practices of Emotionally Focused Therapy to restore connection and promote resilience in family relationships.

The principle goal of EFFT is to re-establish more secure family patterns where attachment and caregiving responses are effective and emotional bonds are repaired.

These resources inform a network of security that provides the flexibility and closeness necessary for families to promote individual growth and meaningful relationships across generations.

The EFFT Approach

The EFT process of change in EFFT focuses on stabilizing a family’s negative interaction pattern, restructuring parent and child interactions, and consolidating the felt security gained through these new patterns of connection.

Following principles of attachment science, the EFFT therapist guides the family to new patterns of parental availability, responsiveness and coherent attachment communications as they face developmental change and life challenges.

In EFFT, the focus is on addressing blocks in parental caregiving responses and understanding the child or adolescent’s behavior in terms of attachment needs or fears. These blocks result from constrained, stuck responses to misattunement and injuries in family relationships.

The EFFT therapist tracks the generational influences impacting these blocks and works through rigid patterns that disrupt attachment communication between parents, siblings and between parent and child. Work with parents focuses on the building of a coherent parenting team. The process of EFFT often moves quickly as family members become more responsive, accessible, and engaged with previously unacknowledged attachment-related emotions and needs.


  • Accessing and expanding awareness of unacknowledged feelings associated with the family’s negative pattern.
  • Reframing family distress and child problems within relation blocks reinforcing this distress.
  • Promoting awareness and access to underlying caregiving intentions and disowned attachment related needs.
  • Facilitating the sharing of unmet attachment needs and effective caregiving responses.

Источник: https://iceeft.com/what-is-eft/

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) – TherapyTribe

What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

Emotionally-Focused Therapy, also sometimes referred to as Couples Therapy, is a therapy approach the idea that one’s emotions create his/her identity.

More specifically, one’s emotions can help us make sound decisions and choices.

This therapy approach assumes that if one lacks awareness of his/her emotions, or if he/she deliberately avoids unpleasant and/or negative emotions, he/she is unable to fully process the information those feelings provide him/her.

Therapists with EFT training and experience can help individuals and couples with their communication strategies, and coping abilities, conflict-resolution, and stress-management skills.

They can also help these individuals become more attuned to their emotions, more equipped at using the information provided by these feelings, and better able to cope with difficult feelings that they experience in their daily lives.

EFT utilizes an empirical method that draws from the principles of a variety of psychotherapy approaches, such as Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and/or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Therefore, the ultimate goal of EFT is to help individuals look within themselves to get a better understanding of their own emotions and the emotions of others.

What Can a Person Learn from EFT?

Most EFT sessions focus on helping individuals develop two crucial skills – (1) better identification and understand their emotions, so they can apply them to real-world situations, and (2) the ability to properly use their emotions to better understand the information they provide, while avoiding harmful or negative behaviors at the same time.

What are the Main Functions of EFT Therapists?

The main functions of EFT therapists are to assist their clients by adopting a non-judgmental, safe, empathetic, and compassionate approach to the therapy process. Their primary goals are to actively listen, observe, and guide individuals, so they can better understand their emotional needs – as individuals and as partners.

EFT therapists also use a variety of tools to help individuals learn healthier ways to channel their emotions, so they can use them as guides for their behaviors.

Moreover, they help these individuals address any negative and stressful feelings or belief systems that could be causing conflict in their personal lives, at their jobs, in their families, with their children and/or parents, with friends, and/or with romantic partners or spouses.

What Issues Do EFT Therapists Typically Treat?

EFT therapists typically treat a wide variety of issues.

They tend to focus on individuals and couples who struggle in their personal lives, with loved ones, at their jobs, and/or in their relationships or marriages.

Their main focus is to help these individuals and couples identify and address unhealthy, destructive, and/or possibly dangerous emotions that could be affecting their thought processes and behaviors.

For example, an EFT therapist may treat a depressed person, who spends the majority of his/her time alone. More specifically, this individual may make a deliberate effort to escape or avoid situations that cause him/her sadness.

On the flip side, an EFT therapist may also treat a person who suffers from a type of anxiety that prevents him/her from leaving their home. This individual may feel unable to leave the home and/or socialize with others because of his/her excessive worrying, irrational fears, and unnecessary concerns.

Primarily, however, EFT therapists help individuals and couples learn how to properly address their emotions and concerns, so they can begin to view their feelings as valuable sources of information – rather than, simply as difficult and/or painful states.

Studies suggest that because EFT mainly focuses on the impact and regulation of emotions, it can be highly beneficial in the treatment of a variety of psychological issues.

It is important to note, however, that although EFT was originally used to treat depression, it has since become common practice in the mental health world.

It is typically used to address a variety of issues from depression, anxiety, neglect, abuse, domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, and attempts, eating disorders, relationship issues, addiction, borderline personality disorder, manic-depression (bipolar disorder), self-esteem and self-confidence issues, and even financial problems.

What Happens During the Initial EFT Therapy Sessions?

During the initial therapy sessions, an EFT therapist helps individuals and couples identify and understand their emotions.

Ultimately, clients may discover new ways to do the following:

  • More accurately identify and understand their emotions
  • Embrace and regulate their emotions
  • Become more aware of their emotions
  • Experience an increased awareness of emotional situations

During the first, second, third, and subsequent sessions, the therapist may assign the individual or couple the following goals:

  • How to develop personal “conversational/communication scripts” or predetermined responses to social situations. (The purpose of these “pre-formed scripts” is to help individuals and couples challenge their own unhealthy and destructive thoughts because they are negatively impacting their emotions and behaviors.)
  • How to properly question and challenge inaccurate, irrational, and unhealthy emotions and belief systems
  • How to correctly identify and address the true source of one’s distress
  • How to use helpful emotions as guides for behavior
  • How to properly evaluate the difference between “helpful” and “unhelpful” emotions

Note: EFT is most successful when the individual or couple develops an increased awareness of their own emotions – and how these emotions affect others.

Moreover, to achieve success with this form of psychotherapy, individuals and couples must be able to improve (with time, effort, and patience) their ability to analyze, identify, and regulate their emotions, thus, reducing and/or eliminating unhealthy, stressful, and/or destructive behaviors.

What Should I Look for in an EFT Therapist?

If you are considering seeking EFT, you should look for a therapist that is highly trained in EFT techniques, methods, and approaches. This person must be able to help you better identify, address, and manage your emotions – in all situations.

The good news is that research suggests that Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) is successful for many people, however, it’s important to find an EFT therapist, who makes you feel comfortable and safe during the therapy process.

Keep in mind that EFT centers on trust, “openness,” honesty, empathy, patience, respect, and understanding, so it is important that you set up consultations with a variety of EFT therapists until you find the right one for you.

Ask for references from previous clients, success rates, possible approaches, the cost of services, education and training, experience, length of therapy, etc.

The key to success with this therapy method is to try to approach each concept with an open mind, so you can be “open enough” to receive the tools needed to help you get back on track in your life. Find your EFT therapist on TherapyTribe.


Soloski, K., & Deitz, S. (2016). Managing emotional responses in therapy: An adapted EFT supervision approach. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 38(4), 361–372. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-016-9392-8

Wiebe, S. A., & Johnson, S. M. (2016). A review of the research in emotionally-focused therapy for couples. Family Process, 55(3), 390–407. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12229

Peluso, P. R., & MacIntosh, H. (2007). Emotionally-focused couples therapy and individual psychology: A dialogue across theories. Journal of Individual Psychology, 63(3), 247–269. Retrieved from Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a2h&AN=26853261&site=ehost-live

Rowe, J. E. (2005). The effects of EFT on long-term psychological symptoms. Counseling & Clinical Psychology Journal, 2(3), 104–111. Retrieved from Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a2h&AN=18015987&site=ehost-live

Greenman, P. S., & Johnson, S. M. (2013). Process research on emotionally-focused therapy ( EFT) for couples: Linking theory to practice. Family Process, 52(1), 46–61. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12015

Источник: https://www.therapytribe.com/emotionally-focused-therapy/

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