Emotionally Focused Therapy
If you’ve navigated around my site, you’ve likely come across the term “EFT” with regard to my therapeutic methods and techniques. While I have training and experience in many forms of therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy is the form of treatment with which I have seen the best and longest-lasting results. Particularly in the realms of couples, family, and depression therapy, EFT provides my clients with an understanding and experience they do not get from other forms of treatment.
I believe in EFT as an extremely effective and thorough approach to treatment. I have extensive training and experience in this area. Additionally, EFT methods have been rigorously and repeatedly tested, and all practitioners must undergo ongoing training and assessment. Because of this, I am confident that my work as a therapist is always of the highest standard and helpful for family and couples counseling. Through EFT, I can provide you with the best possible route to healing.
What is EFT?
EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy, is a form of family and couples counseling that encourages the experience, recognition, and understanding of emotions.
This form of treatment has proven valuable in treating personal conflicts, including marriage and family issues, as well as depression and other mood disorders. EFT is effective because of its focus on undoing the root causes of emotional detachment.
EFT is one of the few therapies that help couples renew feelings of love and connection with family and couples counseling. EFT is effective in helping couples build trust, communicate clearly, and resolve conflict. EFT focuses on helping couples develop the tools necessary to express needs and desires safely. Couples can learn to trust that their partner is available to hear what they’re feeling, and respond in a way that is constructive and loving.
In research studies on family and couples counseling, couples report increased marital satisfaction after Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Although our emotions often help us know how to act and react, they can also become muddled by the complex nature of our minds. Sometimes, our emotional experiences lead to unhelpful worry, fear, shame, anxiety, anger, and self-doubt. It can be difficult for us to realize or remember that these emotions are feelings we have learned to feel over time. The core work of EFT is to get to the bottom of those painful feelings and to help you transform them into useful, productive emotions. EFT will help you develop close emotional connections with others in your life, as well as improve how you feel about yourself.
Who Can Benefit From EFT?
EFT provides wonderful benefits to people struggling in relationships, whether with your family, your significant other, or yourself. EFT focuses on uncovering the underlying emotional attachments you bring to any relationship and encourages positive understanding, acceptance, and change.
If you have tried therapy before, chances are you’ve had some positive results. In many cases, however, those results may not be long-lasting. Many methods of therapy only give you the tools to patch a particular situation. These tools help temporarily, but they are sometimes only a quick-fix. They do not address the deeper hurts, the painful struggles, or the roots of the problem. The greatest benefit of EFT is that it gets to that root of the problem. EFT provides real, visible results.
A family in my couples and marriage counseling whom I worked with benefited greatly from EFT. They had been to other therapists before where they learned extensive ways to communicate effectively, to negotiate needs, and to regulate their arguments. They told me they would leave other therapy sessions feeling positive and hopeful, like they were really ready to make their love work. Things would go well for them for a few months after therapy, as they would practice the skills they learned whenever conflict arose.
However, as time went on, they slowly drifted back into their old ways. Even though they knew how to handle a disagreement, they still continued to destructively argue. The coping methods they learned did not undo the patterns of fighting they so often encountered. However, EFT methods allowed them to begin to really understand the basis of each other’s pain and frustration. EFT helped both of them know that they could share their love for each other.
When you can say, “I need you to be present. I need you to show me love. I need to believe you are really here for me,” you can allow yourself to open up to accepting your own needs. When you can hear your partner, your child, or even yourself ask for those deep, basic, emotional needs, you can better provide them. Emotionally Focused Therapy will guide you to a place where you feel safe and comfortable truly expressing and understanding these essential needs.
Does EFT Work?
EFT is extremely effective, especially in the long term. Rather than focusing on the small details of specific disagreements, EFT allows you and your partner or family to look at the bigger picture of how you relate to each other and where you disconnect. It goes deep down to the root of the problems, rather than just pruning the branches.
EFT depends on a solid, trusting, safe client/therapist relationship. As your therapist, I will work with you to develop an honest and transparent rapport. In order to help you change, it is my responsibility to not only encourage your emotional recognition and expression, but to support you and stand beside you when you begin to feel those painful feelings. The deep empathy involved in EFT relies on a close, professional, client/therapist relationship.
The biggest difference between EFT and other forms of therapy is that EFT will actually help you and your partner or family truly care for each other again. It helps you connect in a secure and positive way that can only improve your relationship.
Feeling love for each other again is fostered by strengthening your attachment to each other. Strong attachment bonds lead you and your partner or family to feel safe together and know you are the most important person in each other’s lives. EFT strengthens these bonds by allowing you to open up to each other in a safe and secure environment.
In a sense, EFT is almost like rewiring the way you approach and engage in your relationships as a couple or family. EFT gives you the tools to recognize and then ask for what you really need in a relationship. It helps you reconstruct how you and your partner or family connect on an emotional level, which helps you establish deeper trust and understanding.
EFT relies on a three-stage, nine-step procedure that will be tailored to your specific needs. The methods and effectiveness of EFT are widely accepted in the scientific community. Research by the original founders, Dr. Susan Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg, has been professionally published and repeatedly explored and retested for more than 30 years. The research shows that EFT really works with family and couples counseling: approximately 90% of couples who participated in EFT research studies reported that their relationship “significantly improved”—no matter how much they had previously struggled—after undergoing Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Emotionally Focused Therapy is a tried and tested method that will provide you and your loved ones with the ability to truly understand your emotional needs.
Watch this five-minute video, What Is EFT. If EFT sounds like the right fit for you and you’d like to set up an initial appointment, please call me at 480-442-3306 to schedule a time or click HERE.