Traditionally, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is used most often for couples experiencing issues in their relationship. EFT is founded on the principle that childhood relationships with caregivers can cause attachment issues later in adulthood. While EFT was founded to help couples with these attachment issues, it also has a surprising benefit—helping individuals as well.
Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) was created to separate and differentiate this type of service from its use for couples. EFIT, among other uses, is a highly impactful way to treat individuals who are dealing with anxiety. To understand if EFIT is useful for your specific anxiety disorder, let’s talk more about what anxiety is.
What Is Anxiety?
Most people have heard about anxiety but don’t have a clear picture of it. At its core, anxiety is a learned emotional response. In our ancestor’s time, anxiety was a response to life-or-death situations. Depending on the situation, anxiety would implore them to stay and fight or flee from danger. This is known as the “fight or flight response.”
However, now, we rarely encounter interactions in our daily lives that require this state of mind to be activated. But our bodies have held on to this response. This results in our bodies becoming activated with this response, even if there is no real threat of danger present.
Symptoms of Anxiety
When the body is repeatedly exposed to this threat system becoming activated, it typically results in chronic anxiety, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Someone who has GAD may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Racing heart
- Uncontrollable, negative thoughts
- Heart palpitations
- Excessive worrying
- Sweating/feeling clammy
Anxiety is a disorder that can affect anyone at any age. And it can become so troublesome that it can begin to impact somebody’s ability to function well with daily activities such as work, school, or household responsibilities.
How to Treat Anxiety
There are a variety of different ways that anxiety can be treated. Most commonly is through traditional or talk therapy. Other therapeutic approaches could include CBT or even EMDR. Sometimes, medication may even get prescribed depending on the appropriateness for the individual client.
So what does a treatment approach traditionally used for couples have to do with anxiety?
EFIT for Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest itself in a person’s life for all kinds of different reasons. It would be amiss if we didn’t say that early childhood attachment issues can cause anxiety later on in life.
The attachment styles we form in adulthood can impact us in many ways. For instance, imagine a home where the parents punish any mistake made by their children. Additionally, the parents were especially strict inside and outside the home. In this case, a child would grow up fearing mistakes because they were taught they were bad. Or, they could fear any new situation because they aren’t clear about the rules outside their controlled set.
EFIT can help someone pinpoint how their early childhood experiences affected anxiety development. And it can also help someone look back on these years and say, “You know what, maybe that was when my anxiety issues actually started to develop.” EFIT is perfect for those with anxiety because they often tend to keep what they feel bottled up inside. It helps to counteract this response by teaching someone how to be better tuned in to their own emotional regulation.
The condensed version is this: The goal of EFIT is to help someone better understand who they are and how their upbringing shaped them. If you aren’t sure if EFIT is right for treating your anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more.