Emotionally Focused Therapy
Emotionally focused therapy uses evidence-based theories of adult bonding to help people understand their relationships with others. This approach to individual, family and couples counseling that asks clients to examine their feelings in the context of how they affect others.
What Is EFT?
Canadian psychologist Sue Johnson developed emotionally focused therapy in the 1980s, primarily based on three premises:
- Lack of emotional awareness is harmful.
- Avoiding your emotions can adversely affect your life.
- Over time, ignoring or suppressing your emotional response may detract from your ability to process feelings later.
A therapist trained in EFT can improve your knowledge and understanding of your emotions, while teaching you coping strategies to manage them.
What to Expect in EFT
Attachment theory is the foundation of emotionally focused therapy. This concept states that people need to feel safe in connecting with others. Often, distress in close relationships relates to fears of abandonment, leading to conflict and negativity. This type of therapy can help people address attachment-related insecurities and learn how to interact with others on a more profound level, resulting in secure, long-lasting bonds.
During an EFT session, you and your therapist will actively collaborate to achieve your desired outcomes. They will compassionately encourage you to interpret your emotions for yourself, instead of telling you what they believe. EFT takes place in a judgment-free environment that makes clients more aware and accepting of their feelings.
Emotionally focused therapy can be beneficial for working through mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, trauma and personality disorders. By giving you the tools to manage the symptoms of these conditions, EFT empowers you to differentiate between helpful and unhelpful emotions.
Is Emotionally Focused Therapy Effective?
Emotionally focused therapy has been the subject of extensive studies. Robust empirical evidence supports this method – research examining outcomes for couples and families who have participated in emotionally focused therapy shows this approach defuses tension within relationships and teaches people to interact in mutually beneficial ways. Follow-up studies of clients who participated in EFT suggest that the treatment’s positive effects continued for years after the therapy concluded.
To maximize the benefits of emotionally focused therapy, you must commit to the process. If you aren’t completely open and honest, it will be harder for you to achieve your desired outcomes. EFT may be right for you if you can practice self-love and be straightforward with your therapist.
Cumberland Heights is proud to be the first treatment center in Tennessee to earn certification from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Our individualized care includes family programming, 12-step immersion and a dedication to clinical excellence.
If you are struggling with substance abuse and mental health, you do not have to go it alone. To learn more about starting your recovery journey at Cumberland Heights, please reach out to us today.