What is Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy?
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an approach to couples therapy formulated in the early 80's by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. Since then, Sue Johnson (author of the books Hold Me Tight and Love Sense) has further developed the model, adding attachment theory to further understand what is happening in couple relationships and to guide therapists in helping them. The major contraindication for EFT is on-going violence in the relationship. EFT is being used with many different kinds of couples in private practice, university training centres and 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.
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.
Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy
- 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. ( www.iceeft.com)