What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

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Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term approach to counseling most often used for couples, but it also works with families and individuals. EFT emphasizes developing a stronger bond between two or more people. It examines interactions and how each individual contributes to undesirable behaviors that negatively affect their emotional bond.

EFT’s goal is to reduce distress and negative patterns in the relationship so people can grow closer and rebuild trust, love, and intimacy.

There are three distinct stages in Emotionally Focused Therapy:

  1. De-Escalation – The therapist has people slow down their conversations and interactions to examine patterns in this stage. Is one person not expressing their emotions? Is one person avoidant? Is one person quick to anger? Your EFT therapist will hone in on these specific exchanges to help you understand what interaction and communication patterns lead to hurt feelings and disconnection.
  2. Changing Interaction Patterns – This stage involves encouraging each person to communicate their feelings and needs. Your therapist will help you express empathy, even during tense interactions.
  3. Consolidation – In this stage, you practice the skills you learned during counseling. This stage aims to integrate more desirable communication patterns in EFT sessions and real life.

Anyone interested in improving their interactions with loved ones could benefit from EFT.

Therapists Who Specialize in Using Emotionally Focused Therapy