Emotion Focused Therapy

Free 15 minutes Initial Consultation Form

Free 15 minutes Initial Consultation Form

What is EFT?

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) approaches healing from the belief that emotions are strongly linked to identity. Emotions guide us in defining preferences and making decisions on a daily basis. EFT assumes that:

  • Lack of emotional awareness is harmful
  • Avoiding your emotions can lead to negative outcomes in your life
  • Over time, ignoring or avoiding your emotional response may alter your ability to process emotions later on

How does it work?

EFT is founded on the idea that emotions should be used to guide healthy, meaningful lives. Its theory is based on a scientific inquiry into the human emotional experience. Scientific study of human emotion has provided information about:

  • How emotions are produced
  • The importance of emotions to human functioning
  • How emotions are related to thought and behaviour

Emotion schemes are the core concept of EFT. It was developed largely from these theories of human emotion. Emotion schemes are models that outline how emotion can:

  • Be experienced physically
  • Cause physiologic changes
  • Influence thinking
  • Guide future action 

What will I learn in EFT sessions?

Initial sessions of therapy focus on helping people arrive at emotions. One or more of the following goals are often included in each session:

  • Become more aware of emotions
  • Learn to welcome, allow, and regulate emotions
  • Learn to describe emotions clearly and in detail
  • Increase awareness of the multiple layers of emotional experiences and learn to identify the most direct reaction

The next phase of treatment focuses on leaving. It may include the following goals:

  • Evaluate whether emotions are helpful or unhelpful in various situations
  • Learn to use helpful emotions to guide action
  • Identify the source of unhelpful emotions
  • Learn to change unhelpful emotions
  • Develop alternative, healthy ways of coping with situations that often elicit maladaptive emotions
  • Form personal scripts that help challenge the destructive thoughts that may be associated with unhelpful or maladaptive emotions

EFT is generally thought to have been successful when the person in treatment has an increased awareness of their emotional experience. They may also have an improved ability to regulate emotions and be better able to transform unhelpful emotions.

Who all can benefit from EFT?

EFT is best known as a cutting edge, tested and proven couple intervention, but it is also used to address individual depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress (EFIT – Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy) and to repair family bonds (EFFT – Emotionally Focused Family Therapy).