Articles for the Month of August 2014

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

by Cathy Neville, LPC, on August 11, 2014

What you should know about Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)Happy one

Relationships can be confusing and complicated.

They can tap into our deepest and most basic needs and emotions.

They can stir up deep feelings we never knew needed to be explored.

How do we control our emotions when we are hurt or troubled? We may not even want to go there, but our most precious relationships demand it!

That’s when we seek help.

That’s the beauty of EFT.

The Objective Behind Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

EFT is widely known and used by therapists to help people recover from the impact of problem emotions, get a handle on harmful behavior, and gain emotional clarity.

Developed by Doctors Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s, EFT was originally designed to assist couples in becoming fully aware of the emotions that bring unproductive and ineffective reactions affecting their relationship. In other words, our underlying emotions sometimes cause us to overreact or “act out.”   Therapists are now seeing its benefits in individual therapy as well.  The Client is encouraged to tune in to his/her most central emotional issues. I like to call it “checking our emotional baggage.”  If we examine how our emotions and attachments are interrupting our ability to bond and communicate effectively, we can make the necessary changes to improve our relationships.

Essentially, EFT helps participants see that emotions are not the inherent problem. In fact, emotions are key to understanding who we are.  EFT addresses the problem of poor emotional management by teaching us increased awareness, emotional self-regulation, and new ways of relating to troubling emotions.

Why Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

It is grounded in the idea that our best emotional outcomes and relationships result from healthy, secure attachments to at least one caregiver early in life, a theory known as attachment theory.

In EFT sessions, we work on transforming feelings like shame, fear, loss, or detachment by getting to those responses that occur deeper inside us. These are emotions that we are unlikely to explore in the course of our busy lives. We want to correct insecurities and cycles of mistrust and rejection coming from prior experiences or relationships that harm and undercut the relationships we are in now.

EFT can be intense and cathartic, and on the whole exceedingly rewarding. The goal is to restore connection through attention to core emotional needs we may not even be aware were unmet.

What does Emotionally Focused Therapy look like?

The therapy is short-term, generally 8 to 20 sessions.

EFT provides a secure, non-judgmental environment to help you deal with emotional distress. You are encouraged to express your emotions. If you’re sessions with a partner or family members, you have the opportunity to witness and understand how your emotions affect and inhibit your relationships. You gain insight regarding your own internal, emotional wiring.

Ultimately, an EFT therapist guides you through what may have formerly been an anxious process, fraught with criticism and misunderstanding, to a place of healing and empathy for those who share our lives.

Emotionally Focused Therapy Brings Clarity to You and Your Relationship

Emotionally focused therapy helps you answer the question, “What is really going on?”

It is a proven, productive therapeutic process.

You can get to the bottom of what you need as a person.

You can discover your emotional holes and reframe them.

You can apply your new insights and transform yourself and your relationships.