Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT is a highly successful form of couples therapy that examines the relational patterns and helps the couple take steps to create a more secure, trusting bond. Developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s, this form of couples therapy tends to focus on negative communication patterns and attachment between the partners. Rooted in attachment theory, EFT therapists help resolve insecurities and feelings of abandonment. Negative and self-perpetuating patterns tend to develop in relationships when partners are not able to meet each other’s emotional needs. EFT addresses this by improving the foundation holding the relationship together.
EFT is typically used as a short-term therapy, lasting on average 8-20 sessions. During these client-centered sessions, partners will learn not only to understand their own emotions and needs, but how to acknowledge, respect and hold those of their partner. There are three main stages to EFT. First, the therapist will work to de-escalate or interrupt the negative cycle that the couple is currently experiencing. Next, partners will learn how to change their interaction patterns with each other to create more positive experiences. Finally, there is a process of consolidation and integration where the couple learns to use these skills outside of session effectively.