Emotion Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) Developed by Sue Johnson, it is a structured, attachment-informed approach to couple therapy. This goal-oriented treatment aims to expand and / or reorganize emotional responses, create lasting changes in communication patterns by introducing new ways of communicating and connecting, and creating a secure attachment bond between couples..
The primary goal of EFT is to help couples understand and restructure their emotional responses, interactions, and patterns of communication. It operates on the belief that emotions are at the core of our experiences and that a secure emotional bond is crucial for a satisfying and healthy relationship.
Here are some key principles and techniques used in EFT:
1. Attachment Theory: EFT is rooted in attachment theory, which suggests that human beings have an innate need to seek closeness and security in relationships. It emphasizes the importance of secure emotional bonds in promoting well-being.
2. Emotional Engagement: EFT helps couples recognize and express their underlying emotions, needs, and vulnerabilities. It encourages emotional engagement and responsiveness to foster a sense of safety and connection.
3. Cycle De-escalation: EFT focuses on identifying negative interactional cycles that couples get caught in, which often lead to distress and disconnection. By understanding these patterns, couples can interrupt and change them, promoting more positive and constructive interactions.
4. Creating a Secure Base: EFT aims to create a secure base within the couple relationship, similar to the secure base a child seeks in their attachment figure. This secure base provides a sense of safety, comfort, and support, allowing individuals to explore and grow in their personal and relational development.
5. Promoting Acceptance and Validation: EFT emphasizes the importance of acceptance and validation of each partner’s emotions, experiences, and perspectives. It helps couples develop empathy and understanding for each other, which contributes to a stronger bond.
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of EFT in couple counseling. It has been shown to significantly improve relationship satisfaction, increase emotional bonding, and reduce relationship distress. EFT has also shown long-term positive outcomes, with couples maintaining improvements even after therapy has ended.
By focusing on emotions and attachment needs, EFT helps couples develop healthier communication patterns, resolve conflicts, and rebuild trust. It provides a structured framework for couples to explore their relationship dynamics and create a more secure and fulfilling bond.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of EFT depends on several factors, including the commitment and active participation of both partners, the skill and training of the therapist, and the specific circumstances and issues within the couple’s relationship.