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


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

I have extensively studied EFT during my graduate career while completing my masters' thesis. I use emotion-focused therapy as the basis for my work, as I believe emotion guides our thoughts and behaviors. If we can tap into the core emotions we are able to identify an individual basic needs: safety, connection, love, validation, compassion. Using EFT I will guide you through processing the difficult emotions while supporting you in creating a safe space to explore them.

— Kathryn Ewers, Therapist in Germantown, Philadelphia, PA

I have been trained in the EFT model. This model empahisis how healthy attachement needs are vital to a working relationship. It looks at healing trauma and past wounds that have created an atmoshpere of resentment, anger and distancing.

— Anthony Gambuzza, Psychologist in Stamford, CT

Emotionally Focused Therapy is a special kind of therapy to help couples to reconnect. Couples are bonded to each other in a special way, and the bond or attachment between them can be damaged or wounded by many things in life: betrayal, abandonment, anger, distance, misunderstandings. Once that bond is wounded, things can get out of sorts quickly. Misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions contribute to the distance in the relationship and things can feel too broken to repair. EFT helps couples uncover those relationship wounds and repair or heal them. Only when those wounds are healed do partners feel ready and safe enough to reconnect. EFT is based on careful research and has been shown to be successful across the globe and across cultures. It is well-respected among therapists and researchers, and is used to help couples in many countries around the world.

— Diana Walla, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in West Lake Hills, TX

For detailed information see the "services" at my website: www.summitwellnesscounseling.com.

— Aaron Porter, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Eugene, OR

I believe that our deepest emotions can help us guide you to who you really are, what you need, and what's important to you. In my emotion-focused work, I have witnessed so many transformation that would not have been possible if we stay on the superficial realms talking about thoughts/cognition. The work of connecting you with yourself again towards self-love and embodiment is what makes life worth living.

— Lina Pranata, Psychologist in Seattle, WA

I look at patterns in my clients lives and work to understand their meaning. This work can lead to deeper understanding of what emotions are truly driving the behaviors that bring you into counseling.

— Jodi Lietz, Counselor in Portland, OR

Every relationship experiences problems and conflict. These challenges can be about specific events or may involve ongoing negative patterns. To help my clients overcome these challenges, my work with relationships draws upon what is known as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is a structured systems therapy that helps shift negative interactions into positive ones. People in relationships often get caught in negative cycles that eat away at intimacy and a sense of having a loving and trusting relationship. These cycles tend to be self-reinforcing and keep you trapped in hurtful interactions. EFT helps identify these cycles, stop them, and create new ones so you can feel close and connected again. This emotional security and sense of comfort is what ultimately allows you to resolve conflict, communicate better, have more fulfilling sex, and live happier lives. I welcome diverse populations in relationship therapy, including all sexual orientations, genders, and relationship structures (couples, triads, polyamorous and open relationships).

— Smadar Salzman, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

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

EFT is a structured approach to couples therapy that has been developed alongside the science on adult attachment and bonding to expand the understanding about what is happening in couple relationships. EFT is also used with families and individuals. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements. It is grounded in research while focusing on negative communication patterns and love as an attachment bond.

— Lisa M. Clark, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chandler, AZ

Many couples find that they keep having the same fight over and over again. They try to compromise, problem solve, and mediate the disagreement. But nothing seems to help. That's because the fights aren't really about the "problem", they are about deep emotional needs and wounds that get activated by the intimacy of a relationship. EFT helps couples recognize the underlying emotional triggers and teaches them to support each other's emotional needs while resolving conflicts.

— Jacob Brown, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Corte madera, CA

My primary theoretical orientation is Emotion Focused Therapy as described by Dr. Les Greenberg, (developed for treatment of an individual). My primary use of EFT is based on its empirical/research support, assistance to individuals in understanding, expressing, accepting, regulating, and transforming their emotional responses, and warm, supportive approach.

— Dr. Stefanie Tweedly, Clinical Psychologist in Newport Beach, CA

I use an integrative approach with couples therapy, pulling mainly from Attachment and EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) lenses. What this looks like is that we will: 1. Identify the pattern you and your partner keep getting stuck in. 2. Uncover the underlying root emotions that are leading to these conflicts. 3. Find new ways to engage with these emotions so you and your partner don’t get stuck in the same old patterns.

— Connor Moss, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Emotionally Focused Therapy has been my primary modality in working with couples since 2015. I find it a most beneficial therapeutic modality because it enables me to help couples get right down to the root of what's happening in problematic interactions. Using EFT helps me help couples much more quickly because we work with the shared human experience of emotions rather than staying in the story.

— Kelly Arthur, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

Sue Johnson's Emotionally-Focused Therapy offers a framework to understand the unmet needs that drive relational stress and reactivity within couples.

— Maya Foster, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Lanham, MD