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Denver Counseling-Executive Life Coaching

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

History of EFT:

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples therapy that is based on the science of adult love and bonding (attachment). Developed in the 1980’s by Drs. Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg, EFT is a highly researched, effective and evidence-based theory that helps couples understand and respond to each other’s needs. EFT concepts have been validated by over 20 years of empirical research predicting relationship success.

Studies show that 70-75% of couples working with an EFT therapist move from relationship distress to recovery during the course of therapy. Approximately 90% show significant improvements that last.

How EFT Works:

When we can’t find a safe, loving way to stay connected to our partner we go into a state of emotional pain and alarm. We automatically respond by protesting or withdrawal (fight or flight) when we feel this fear or panic. Our partner will then often respond with his or her own protest or withdrawal. This cycle is a “neural duet” between partners—they impact each other both physiologically and emotionally creating a feedback loop of negative interactions.

Through EFT, couples are helped to create nurturance, love and connection in their relationships. Couples learn to identify their negative cycle, the emotions underling the reactions and their parts in the dance as they come up in sessions and at home. Couples learn to regulate their emotions and send clear, congruent messages of their needs to their partner and to respond in a healthy way rather than react.

Couples begin to actively create a new, positive cycle where they can express their needs and fears and create accessibility and responsiveness. When we can send clear message, we actually pull our partner closer and create the safety, trust and support that we have been yearning for.   

EFT is a collaborative, experiential model that encourages couples to be involved in the deconstructing of the negative cycle and the creation of a new, secure relationship.