About Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Couple distress is a common reason adults seek psychotherapy. It undermines family functioning and is strongly associated with depression, anxiety disorders, and alcoholism. Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) offers a comprehensive theory of adult love and attachment, as well as a process for healing distressed relationships. It recognizes that relationship distress results from a perceived threat to basic adult needs for safety, security, and closeness in intimate relationships.  This experiential/systemic therapy focuses on helping partners restructure the emotional responses that maintain their negative interaction patterns. Through a series of nine steps, the therapist leads the couple away from conflict deadlock into new bonding interactions. EFT is now one of the best delineated and empirically-validated approaches in the field of couple therapy.

Goals of EFT

  • To expand and re-organize key emotional responses.
  • To create a shift in partners’ interactional positions.
  • To foster the creation of a secure bond between partners.

Strengths of EFT

  • Clear, explicit conceptualizations of relationship distress and adult love. These conceptualizations are supported by empirical research on the nature of couple distress and adult attachment.
  • Change strategies and interventions are specified. The change process has been mapped into nine steps and specific change events.
  • EFT is empirically validated and there is also research on the change process
    and predictors of success.
  • EFT has been applied to many different kinds of problems and populations.

More Information

Visit Sue Johnson’s official web site at ICEEFT.com.