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

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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

In couples therapy, I rely primarily on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), a research-based approach to strengthening relationships and improving connection. Sue Johnson, the primary developer of EFT, explains what EFT therapy looks like in sessions in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCg-jC25fo

— Julia Ward, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Emotion Focused therapy works well for couples as well as individuals. Often times, we may not be aware of the feelings/emotions that we are experiencing. Emotions are taught by our primary caregivers and often coincide with our attachment styles. By identifying the vulnerable emotions which are often masked by secondary emotions (anger), the client is able to heal past wounds, as well as create more fulling and meaningful relationships with those around them.

— Miranda Bayard-Clark, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lake Oswego, OR
 

EFT is an attachment-based model of working with intimate partners. Together we'll explore the underlying emotions that drive distressing communication and behavioral patterns and you'll learn more about your partner as you work towards building safe and secure attachment.

— Deanna Richards, Mental Health Counselor in NEW YORK, NY

EFT is an attachment-based model of working with intimate partners. Together we'll explore the underlying emotions that drive distressing communication and behavioral patterns and you'll learn more about your partner as you work towards building safe and secure attachment.

— Deanna Richards, Mental Health Counselor in NEW YORK, NY
 

I receive ongoing training in this model and find it to be highly effective when working with couples. What I like about EFT is that it's a nonjudgemental approach that helps clients gain a deeper understanding of the negative cycles they get into and helps them discover and communicate about the fear, pain, and longing underneath.

— Allison O'Brien, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Atlanta, GA

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
 

Emotions are often assigned a negative reputation, but they hold innate power to help us change and grow. I work with individuals to help them identify and better understand their emotional patterns and how they came to experience their emotions in this way. We also can address ways to better regulate emotions as well as identify the patterns which serve as barriers to connection.

— Brittany Boney, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

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
 

I am a certified EFT couples therapist and supervisor in training. A short term structured approach, EFT is extensively researched with studies showing 70% to 75% of couples move from distress to recovery, often accompanied by decreased symptoms of other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

— Jonathan Zalesne, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

I receive ongoing training in this model and find it to be highly effective when working with couples and families. What I like about EFT is that it's a nonjudgemental approach that helps clients gain a deeper understanding of the negative cycles they get into and helps them discover and communicate about the fear, pain, and longing underneath.

— Allison O'Brien, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Atlanta, GA
 

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 utilize techniques to help you experience your emotions in session- and then you'll learn how to manage them. You won't control, stuff, or explode, but you'll manage your emotions, gaining the information that they bring to you and honoring the experience you have of them in your body.

— Molly Johnson, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Phoenix, AZ
 

Our team specializes in Emotionally Focused Therapy. We have all received advanced training in EFT. Some are Certified in EFT, and the others are working towards Certification. We regularly invest in advancing our skill as couples therapists using EFT, deepening knowledge in specialty topics such as helping couples reconnect sexually; work through a partner's trauma, depression or anxiety; working through relationship crises such as affairs or addictons; and helping couples restore relationships at risk of divorce and significant disconnection.

— Thrive Couple & Family Counseling Services, Counselor in Greenwood Village, CO

We are energetic beings and EFT helps to send signals to the brain energetically to tell the amygdala it no longer needs to activate the fight or flight system in regards to the issue at hand. I have used EFT with many clients to clear out trauma, physical issues, addictions, anxiety, and other emotional issues.

— Jessica Stebbins, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Merritt Island, FL
 

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

Utilize our own emotions both in and out of the therapy room to understand ourselves and others.

— Casey Cullen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Dallas, TX
 

Emotion-Focused Therapy grew out of decades of research into the process of changing emotions, which is what therapy is all about. There are two versions with similar names - I use the approach that is made for individual work (the other one is for couples). EFT uses your emotions as the guide for where therapy needs to go and we look to heal the emotional woundings or blocks that are causing the distress you're currently feeling. In addition to local mentorship, I have sought out training with the creator of the therapy (the original researcher) in Toronto to make sure I am using this approach to the best of my ability. I know that this approach can be very helpful, not only because of the research, but because it's the kind of therapy I seek for myself.

— Darin Bergen, Psychologist in Portland, OR

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
 

As a marriage and family therapist, I am trained to think about individuals systemically. Whether you are partnered, married, or single, we all exist in the context of relationships. When I work with couples, I focus on listening deeply in the areas where you feel stuck and helping you communicate in a brand new way, opening up new possibilities for life together. My style with couples is eclectic, and I can be both direct and deeply empathic as I get to know you and your partner. I have specialized training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) which is a therapy based on the knowledge that all human beings are wired for connection, and we experience great distress when our attachment relationships are disrupted. I use EFT to help couples repair attachment wounds and create a secure, loving connection. You can read more about EFT, and its strong base in research on the EFT website https://iceeft.com/what-is-eft/

— Kristi Hall, Counselor in Saint Paul, MN

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.

— Stefanie Tweedly, Clinical Psychologist in Newport Beach, CA
 

Emotionally focused therapy has attachment theory at it's core. Dr Sue Johnson has integrated attachment strategies with couples therapy to help partner's understand why they respond and react in helpful and destructive ways. Rather than giving couples advice I prefer to help partners understand their responses so they can make adjustments internally. I want to help individuals make healthy satisfying connections with others.

— Lena Sheffield, Licensed Professional Counselor in Miami, FL