Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) – or emotionally focused couples therapy as it is sometimes known – is a short-term therapy technique focused on adult relationships. EFT seeks to help clients better understand both their own emotional responses and those of significant people in their lives. A therapist using EFT will look for patterns in the relationship and identify methods to create a more secure bond, increase trust, and help the relationship grow in a healthy direction. In a session, the therapist will observe the interactions between clients, tie this behavior into dynamics in the home, and help guide new interactions based on more open feelings. Sometimes, this includes clients discovering more emotions and feelings than they were aware they had. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of

Meet the specialists

Using an integrated EFT approach I help couples and individuals identify their primary emotions, work through maladaptive responses, and develop empathy and compassion for themselves and others.

— Alana Ogilvie, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

I have received training in EFT directly from the founder of the modality: Dr. Sue Johnson, as well as one of her most well-known trainers: Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen. I have completed two 4-day EFT externships, & am currently receiving advanced training & supervision in the modality (Core Skills).

— Madalina Coman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Gatos, CA

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has quickly become one of the most popular approaches to working with couples. It is widely recognized as one of the most effective forms of couples therapy. The focus is on understanding how our emotions, interactions, and attachments come together to form healthy and unhealthy patterns in our relationship. EFT aims to encourage the growth of new healthy patterns and move away from unhealthy patterns.

— Jacob Santhouse, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Nampa, ID

I have received advanced formal training in EFT for Couples, and it is a topic I enjoy learning even more about.

— Dave Payne, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Burlington, KY

Find out more about how I can help you with Emotionally Focused Therapy via my speciality webpage for couples: https://www.timholtzmantherapy.com/couples-therapy

— Tim Holtzman, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Berkeley, CA

Our most vulnerable feelings such as fear, sadness, loneliness, etc. are often masked with secondary emotions such as anger and contempt. This happens because it is much more comfortable to express secondary feelings like anger than to express feelings like loneliness. Learning to talk about your vulnerable feeling with a safe person can help you feel more accepted, build more meaningful relationships, and become more present for your loved ones.

— Manny Romero, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Clemente, CA

Over 15 years of training and practicing EFT and attachment-focused therapy modalities with individuals and couples.

— Amy Green, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Online, OR

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) helps couples to identify the negative interaction patterns they get caught in and change them for the better. EFT looks at the couple relationship as an attachment bond, and couple conflict as a type of protest when a partner is not getting their emotional needs met. In EFT we help the couple understand how to get these needs met and bring back a sense of safety to the relationship.

— Yvonne Judge, Marriage & Family Therapist in Columbus, OH

Emotionally focused therapy is a way to help couples get below the surface issues of repeating conflict and instead focus on deepening their bond and intimate connection.

— Kristal DeSantis, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

Emotionally Focused Therapy's primary goal is to increase awareness along with regulating emotions. Utilizing this treatment orientation, the objective is to help clients cope with difficult and intense emotions. "Emotion transformation refers to the process of changing or transforming one emotion into another. The ability to transform a maladaptive emotion into an adaptive one is clearly a valuable skill, and research suggests that this is a purely emotion-based skill" (Greenberg, 2004)

— Susie Ibrahim, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Tustin, CA

I have advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, having completed the 4-day externship, the Core Skills Advanced Training and supervision hours in EFT.

— Rose Kormanyos, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sharonville, OH

I often find with couples that it is a lack of understanding or misinterpretation of each other's (or even our own!) emotional state, which leads to the majority of conflict. Understanding the emotions behind many of our choices and reactions to partners makes Emotion Focused techniques a wonderful supplement to my work as a Gottman-focused therapist with couples.

— Shannon Bolander, Licensed Professional Counselor in Toledo, OH

Therapy that focuses more on the bonds between individuals than on the individual themselves. This may involve looking at relationship patterns or issues in order to resolve them and create a stronger bond.

— Alexandra Lambeth, Licensed Professional Counselor in Grand Prairie, TX

I have received specialized post-graduate school training in Emotion- Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). I have found this evidence-based approach to couples work to be a very powerful tool for meaningful change.

— Lindsey Brooks, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

When we suppress or numb our emotions we don't get to pick and choose the ones we want to feel, they all get suppressed. Emotions are information and they are often trying to tell us important things. Recognizing and sitting with our emotions is a practice that we can get better at; allowing us to move deeper into our understanding of ourselves and others.

— Lindsay Anderson, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Portland, OR

Throughout my internship and early employment, my supervisors operated from an EFT standpoint, rooted in attachment theory, which was thankfully passed on to me. I then decided to expand my knowledge further and have so far attended trainings by Les Greenberg and Sue Johnson.

— Mary Soliman, Psychotherapist in Toronto,

Using EFT with couples can often bring amazing results when the partner of the wounded one, can gain a new perspective and see his or partner's view. This is where true understanding and then compassion, hopefully forgiveness can happen. EFT is all about expanding the view and allow the connection to grow in a safe environment. Many times the safe place is my office. Once a couple gets a "taste" of safety and the need for connection is ignited once again, magic happens.

— Elizabeth Havens, Marriage & Family Therapist in Orlando, FL