Emotionally Focused Therapy

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a highly effective approach designed to help both individuals and couples alike to strengthen emotional understanding and attachment bonds. Created by Dr. Sue Johnson, EFT focuses on understanding and transforming the emotional patterns that can lead to conflict and disconnection, helping you and your partner build a deeper, more secure, and loving connection.

With EFT, you and your therapist will work together to explore the emotions driving your interactions. In other words, you will gain awareness around your dominant attachment style, and learn to express your attachment’s intentions, which in turn fosters transparent meaningful connection and understanding between you and your partner. This is known as The Dance in EFT – a concept and skill that requires effort and practice to improve and maintain.

At Strive Counselling, they provide Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which is a structured approach designed to improve emotional bonds and attachment within relationships.

What can EFT help with?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a well-researched, evidence-based therapeutic approach that focuses on improving emotional connections and attachment bonds within relationships. Here are some of the key areas where EFT can be particularly effective:

Addressing Individual Emotional Issues

Exploring and processing deep-seated emotions and attachment wounds

Strengthening Emotional Bonds

Identifying and challenging maladaptive emotional patterns and beliefs

Improving Self-Esteem

Developing greater emotional regulation and resilience

Improving ways of communicating and expressing yourself

Enhancing Relationship Satisfaction

Building and repairing attachment bonds with your partner

Strengthening Empathy

Increasing your capacity for empathy and understanding 

Improving Relationship Distress

Break negative interaction patterns and cycles that lead to major conflicts

The EFT Process

1. Assessment and De-escalation
  • Initial Assessment: The therapist conducts an initial assessment to understand the relationship dynamics, patterns of interaction, and the core issues affecting the relationship.
  • Identifying Negative Patterns: The therapist helps the couple identify and understand their negative interaction cycles, which often involve patterns of conflict, withdrawal, or emotional disconnection.
  • De-escalating Conflicts: The focus is on reducing immediate conflicts and creating a safe environment for both partners to express their emotions and needs.
2. Understanding Underlying Emotions
  • Exploring Emotions: The therapist guides each partner to explore and articulate their underlying emotions, fears, and unmet attachment needs.
  • Expressing Vulnerabilities: Partners are encouraged to express their vulnerabilities and fears in a supportive and non-judgmental setting, helping to foster empathy and understanding.
3. Restructuring Interactions
  • Reframing the Issues: The therapist reframes the relationship issues in terms of attachment needs and emotional experiences, helping partners see each other’s behaviors in a new light.
  • Changing Interaction Patterns: Partners work on changing their negative interaction patterns by responding to each other’s emotional needs and building new, positive ways of interacting.
4. Building Emotional Engagement
  • Creating Secure Bonds: The therapist facilitates deeper emotional engagement by helping partners share their attachment needs and create secure emotional bonds.
  • Empathic Responses: Partners learn to respond to each other’s emotional cues with empathy, validation, and support, strengthening their emotional connection.
5. Consolidation and Integration
  • Consolidating Gains: The therapist helps the couple consolidate their gains by reinforcing the positive changes they have made in their interactions and emotional responses.
  • Integrating New Patterns: The couple practices and integrates the new, healthier interaction patterns into their daily lives, ensuring that these changes become lasting and sustainable.
6. Maintaining and Enhancing Relationship Health
  • Developing Coping Strategies: The therapist works with the couple to develop strategies for maintaining their improved relationship dynamics and coping with future challenges.
  • Regular Check-ins: Periodic follow-up sessions or check-ins with the therapist can help maintain progress and address any new issues that arise.
  • Continuous Growth: The couple is encouraged to continue fostering their emotional bond, communication, and mutual support to ensure ongoing relationship health and satisfaction.
Emotionally Focused Therapy can be broken down into 6 steps at Strive Counselling

Learn More About The Process

If you’re looking for an approach that focuses on deep emotional connection and offers a path to deeper intimacy and understanding, Emotionally Focused Therapy can provide the support and tools you need. Reach out to us for a free consult today to see how counsellors at Strive can help you and your partner build a stronger, more loving relationship.

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