What Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is rooted in attachment theory and focuses on understanding the negative cycle of communication that often gets in the way of couples feeling close and connected. Emotion is what directs our behavior and drives how we make meaning of the world. At its essence, EFT taps into human emotion as a way to derive deeper meaning and awareness, not only of ourselves but our partners.
When communication breaks down, our understanding of each other can get distorted. EFT counseling exposes these distortions, helping couples reconnect with one another in healthy, positive ways. When they are able to open up and share their difficulties where each feels heard, couples will feel increasingly understood, valued, and loved.
Alongside the science of adult attachment, Emotionally Focused Therapy was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Sue Johnson. EFT is the gold standard for evidence-based intervention in the field of couples therapy. “EFT has a body of process research showing that change does indeed occur in the way that the theory suggests.”¹
How Emotionally Focused Therapy Works
At the beginning of EFT work, the focus is to understand the stuck places present within the relationship and the history that contributes to how each partner currently shows up relationally. After an initial assessment and history-taking, couples will start to identify these stuck places. With guidance and support, couples will recognize their patterns of engagement and how to heal those dynamics at their root. This is not to say that after therapy a couple will never argue or feel pain again—rather, EFT can help them find their way back to each other faster, without the residue of chronic disconnection.
Emotion Focused Therapy has been shown to alleviate a range of relational distress and be effective when working with anxiety, depression, trauma, and betrayal within relationships. By creating a secure bond, couples gain an understanding of what security feels like, both with themselves and one another. At the end of therapy, both partners will be adept at identifying, understanding, and regulating their emotions while gaining a deeper understanding of their partner’s emotional experiences.
EFT has earned the American Psychological Association’s (APA) gold standard as the most effective evidence-based couples therapy approach. Research studies have found that after EFT therapy, 70-75 percent of couples moved from distress to recovery and approximately 90 percent reported significant improvements.²
By learning how to interact in more positive, connected ways, couples can also prevent many future hurts. Ultimately the goal of emotionally focused therapy is to create a secure attachment between couples that empowers them to navigate relational stresses with increased ease and strength. This leaves them both feeling closer to each other. And once this new pattern of connection is felt and understood, this bell cannot be unrung. EFT marital counseling is like a new language for couples—once learned and spoken regularly, EFT becomes a part of the fabric of their relationship that is never forgotten.
Our Background In EFT Marriage Counseling
By its nature, EFT for couples is an integrative model that weaves in humanistic, narrative, and somatic experiential elements. In addition to EFT, each of our therapists is trained to be trauma-informed, which is interwoven into our practice. If partners in couples therapy would find individual or family therapy helpful to their goals, we offer a multi-pronged approach.
There is no doubt that seeking out therapy is a courageous act—navigating uncharted territory can feel scary at first. However, the goal of EFT therapy is to answer questions about the future of your relationship and improve your connection. We explore the anger, resentment, frustrations, and hurt to resolve tension, not increase pain.
The therapists at RCC Colorado have extensive experience working with couples in every stage of their relationship, from premarital counseling to those who have been married 20 years or more. We are devoted to helping couples detangle hurts and make positive steps forward in their relationship.
Find Out How Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Can Help You
EFT therapy can be incredibly effective in helping you both understand the nature of your discord and how to overcome challenges. If you would like to find out more about emotionally focused couples therapy for couples, please call 720-504-8489 or contact us.