What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?
History of EFT:
Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples therapy
that is based on the science of adult love and bonding (attachment). Developed
in the 1980’s by Drs. Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg, EFT is a highly
researched, effective and evidence-based theory that helps couples understand
and respond to each other’s needs.
EFT concepts have been validated by over
20 years of empirical research predicting relationship success.
show that 70-75% of couples working with an EFT therapist move from relationship
distress to recovery during the course of therapy. Approximately 90% show
significant improvements that last.
How EFT Works:
can’t find a safe, loving way to stay connected to our partner we go into a state
of emotional pain and alarm. We automatically respond by protesting or withdrawal
(fight or flight) when we feel this fear or panic. Our partner will then often
respond with his or her own protest or withdrawal. This cycle is a “neural duet”
between partners—they impact each other both physiologically and emotionally
creating a feedback loop of negative interactions.
Through EFT, couples are helped to create nurturance, love and
connection in their relationships.
Couples learn to identify their negative cycle, the
emotions underling the reactions and their parts in the dance as they come up in sessions and at home. Couples learn to regulate their emotions and send clear, congruent messages of their needs to their partner and to
respond in a healthy way rather than react.
begin to actively create a new, positive cycle where they can express their needs and
fears and create accessibility and responsiveness. When we can send clear message, we actually pull our partner closer and create the safety,
support that we have been yearning for.
EFT is a
collaborative, experiential model that encourages couples to be involved in the
deconstructing of the negative cycle and the creation of a new, secure relationship.