What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples therapy formulated in the 1980’s and has developed alongside the science on adult attachment and bonding to expand our understanding of distress in couple relationships and how therapists trained in EFT can reduce relationship distress and strengthen emotional bonds. In the last fifteen years, Dr. Johnson and her colleagues have further developed and refined the model and completed numerous studies. EFT is also used with families and individuals.
A substantial body of research outlining the effectiveness of EFT now exists. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements.
The major contraindication for EFT is on-going abuse in the relationship.
EFT is being used with many different kinds of couples in private practice, university training centers, hospital clinics and many different cultural groups throughout the world.
These distressed couples include partners suffering from disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorders and chronic illness.
For a list of publications please visit: https://iceeft.com/eft-publications-articles/
Strengths of Emotionally Focused Therapy
EFT is based on clear, explicit conceptualizations of marital distress and adult love. These conceptualizations are supported by empirical research on the nature of marital distress and adult attachment.
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 nine steps and three change events.
EFT has been validated by over 20 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.
To expand and re-organize key emotional responses – the music of the attachment dance.
To create a shift in partners’ interactional positions and initiate new cycles of interaction.
To foster the creation of a secure bond between partners.