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  • Writer's pictureBright Light Counseling Center

5 Things an EFT Therapist Wants You to know About Emotion-Focused Therapy

Updated: 7 days ago


Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on emotion regulation and establishing secure connections in relationships. EFT can help individuals, families, and couples foster secure emotional connections, resolve conflicts, and experience greater relationship satisfaction. With this understanding of EFT in mind, I want to highlight some important details about EFT and what you can expect from meeting with an emotion-focused therapist.


1. EFT can be applied to couples, families, and individuals

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Sometimes, EFT may be represented as EFIT or EFFT. EFIT means emotion-focused individual therapy, and EFFT means emotion-focused family therapy. EFT itself typically refers to couples therapy. The multiple models of this approach demonstrates the adaptability of this therapeutic modality and its applicability to many people, situations, and issues. Since the foundation of EFT is the need to belong and have secure connections with other people, EFT is versatile in helping restore these connections in couples, families, and other individual relationships in your life.


2. EFT is focused on the here-and-now


A fancy way of saying this is EFT is “experiential.” This means the therapist is highly attuned to the emotions occurring in the present moment during the session. When working with an EFT-trained therapist, you and your therapist will work to recognize, label, and deepen emotions that come up during the session. Further, the therapist works with you to understand how these emotions impact you and your relationship with yourself and with other people. An emotion-focused therapist believes emotions are tied to identity, and, therefore, that emotions are a strong guiding factor in making decisions and perceiving the world around us in our daily lives.


3. EFT is primarily utilized to treat depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress concerns


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As mentioned previously, EFT is an essential modality in regaining emotion regulation. With struggles like depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it can be difficult to regulate emotions, which can make these experiences even worse. Depression can make it difficult to come out from under the dark cloud following you and make it feel impossible to reach out for help. EFT can help to alleviate these heavy feelings and make it easier to reach out to others for support. It is easy to allow your anxiety to overwhelm you and make you feel stuck and not know what to do next. In EFT, your therapist will work with you to regulate overwhelming emotions and help you to feel empowered and gain greater clarity. Posttraumatic issues can develop from a wide range of situations, and your emotion-focused therapist works with you to take control of your emotions and reframe your negative experiences in a way that helps you feel empowered.


4. EFT is not only for symptom reduction


EFT also strives to help you grow personally and (re)establish connections with yourself and others. EFT can help you to develop self-awareness and self-compassion. Sometimes, we can get out of touch with ourselves and find it difficult to focus on what we really want and need. This can be particularly difficult if depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic issues are heightened. EFT aims to help you understand the root causes of the symptoms you are experiencing and identify the underlying emotional distress and attachment issues that are contributing to them. Thus, by working on the root causes you will find ways to heal and grow beyond just reducing symptoms.


Supportive therapy session with a man engaged in conversation with a compassionate woman therapist

5. EFT relies on the therapeutic relationship


In EFT, the therapist strives to serve as a secure connection for the client. Ideally, you and your therapist will form a healthy therapeutic relationship in which you feel safe and comfortable to share your feelings without fear of judgment or repugnance. Once a safe environment has been established, your therapist relies on you to be forthcoming with difficult emotions so that your therapist can explore these emotions with you; ultimately restructuring and consolidating them. Openness in communication and trust are key in any therapeutic relationship, and it is important for this to be established in EFT, particularly, due to its founding principles.


Wrap Up


In conclusion, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) offers a powerful framework for transforming relationships by harnessing the power of emotions and fostering secure connections. EFT guides individuals, families, and couples towards healing and growth, paving the way for healthier and more fulfilling relationships. Whether you're seeking to enhance an existing relationship or address relationship distress, EFT can provide a roadmap to create lasting change and establish the emotional bonds we all crave. By prioritizing emotional connection and harnessing the strength of emotions, EFT paves the way for transformative experiences and fosters stronger, more meaningful connections with ourselves and others.



Dawson, Licensed Professional Counselor

References

  1. Johnson, S. M. (2019). Attachment theory in practice: Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) with individuals, couples, and families. The Guilford Press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351168366

  2. What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)? By ICEEFT

  3. Therapists Guide to EFIT

  4. What is Emotion Focused Therapy



 

Disclaimer: Our content is on and related to the topic of mental health. The content is general information that may or may not apply to you. The content is not a substitute for professional services. This website does not contain professional advice, nor is any professional-client relationship established with you through your use of this website.


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