EFT – What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), founded by Dr. Sue Johnson, is a new way of understanding adult love relationships, drawing on attachment theory. This approach has been met with unprecedented success in helping distressed couples improve their relationship and deepen their bond. This approach has also been acknowledged by the APA (American Psychological Association) as having valid research supporting its effectiveness.

EFT starts by acknowledging that people are inherently social, and that we are hard-wired to create and maintain strong emotional ties with our partner and loved ones. This means acknowledging that you are attached to your partner and rely on your partner for comfort and support. In its essence, everyone wants a positive answer to the question “Are you there for me?” You want to know that your partner is accessible, responsive, and engaged.

EFT sees distress in relationships as centered in the loss of secure emotional connection, and that a negative cycle or “dance” is established when that loss of connection is experienced. These cycles are often characterized by anger, criticism, leaving, appearing indifferent, to name a few. Once established, these cycles can crop up over the slightest issue, and over time be corrosive to the bonds of trust and security in the relationship. EFT aims to help couples stop these negative cycles by first identifying and mapping out this cycle, then helping couples identify and articulate their needs and clarify their emotional signals in a way that helps their partner to have greater understanding, compassion and empathy. In turn, a more loving, compassionate response can be expressed.

This process leaves room for couples to experience one another in new ways, and can be powerfully transformative in relationships.

(from EFT Resource Center)

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