Skip to content

Relationships can help you face the world.

What do you do when you feel like you have tried to reach the one you love and still end up feeling stuck? EFT can help.

Relationships can help you face the world.

What do you do when you feel like you have tried to reach the one you love and still end up feeling stuck? EFT can help.

Of couples who use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements.

What is EFT?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples is a new type of marital therapy that can effectively improve relationships and deepen emotional and physical intimacy between partners.  For decades, marital therapy has been a relatively unsuccessful, frustrating venture, focusing on communication rules and behavioral contracts between partners.

But love relationships are not businesses, and it turns out that rules and contracts don’t work all that well when couples are lonely, angry, or hurting.  Instead, what really seems to be important are emotions and the attachments couples have with each other.  In fact, as Sue Johnson, founder of EFT, has asserted, human beings are not only social animals, we are bonding animals, and problems within relationships come from patterns or ways of relating that cause couples to disconnect emotionally from these bonds.  EFT thus places primary importance on attachment and emotion.

EFT, as developed by Sue Johnson (author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense), gets to the heart of the couple’s loneliness and pain, and helps the relationship to heal from the bottom-up.  This means that, for example, instead of being told how to communicate better, divide chores more equally, and act more like happy couples, partners are guided to discover the disruptive patterns that derail their attachment and to experience moments of emotional bonding within the therapy session, that in turn create deeper, more loving relationships.

Important to EFT is the idea that partners in relationships are not individually at fault.  Instead, the unhelpful pattern is seen as a negative cycle, and the cycle becomes the focus of change.  This is true whether couples are fighting the same fight every day, living like roommates, unable to be intimate with each other at all, and/or healing from affairs or other attachment injuries.  And relatively healthy relationships can be made even more intimate, connected, and secure.

Strengths of Emotionally Focused Therapy

  • EFT is based on clear, explicit conceptualizations of marital distress and adult love. These conceptualizations are supported by empirical research on the nature of marital distress and adult attachment.
  • EFT is collaborative and respectful of clients. It is a combination of experiential Rogerian techniques with structural systemic interventions.
  • Change strategies and interventions are specified.
  • Key moves and moments in the change process have been mapped into nine steps and three change events.
  • EFT has been validated by over 20 years of empirical research. There is also research on the change processes and predictors of success.
  • EFT has been applied to many different kinds of problems and populations.

Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy

  • To expand and re-organize key emotional responses – the music of the attachment dance.
  • To create a shift in partners’ interactional positions and initiate new cycles of interaction.
  • To foster the creation of a secure bond between partners

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Dr. Sue Johnson provides a brief summary of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). This leading edge, empirically validated form of therapy which is taught all over the world. EFT is based on the last 50 years of scientific research on bonding: bonding between mother and child and romantic bonds between partners. EFT provides a map to what matters in intimate relationships: how they work, how they go wrong, and what is needed to put them right.