What is Emotion Focused Therapy?
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) emphasizes the role of emotions on human well-being, behaviour, and therapeutic change. It operates on the premise that unresolved or suppressed emotions can lead to psychological distress and relationship difficulties.
For this reason, the focus of Emotion-Focused Therapy is helping individuals, couples, and families identify, understand, express, and regulate their emotions.
How Does Emotion-Focused Therapy Work?
Emotion-Focused Therapy is well researched and considered to be an evidence-based therapeutic modality by the Canadian and American Psychological Associations.
At the root of Emotion-Focused Therapy is the belief that emotions are essential and adaptive. Therapists move clients away from suppressing and pushing away emotions to experiencing them.
During Emotion-Focused Therapy, clients are guided by their therapist to identify, experience, accept, explore, and make sense of their emotional responses to present and past situations.
Once emotions are understood and expressed, clients are encouraged to transform their emotional experiences and find new ways to express and regulate their emotions. This supports the development of adaptive coping, emotional intelligence and secure attachment in relationships.
Clients often find that they are able to move away from problematic ways of coping with, or numbing, intense emotions such as self-injury, suicide ideation, substance use, and emotional outbursts. Clients often find that they are able to move towards connecting with important people in their life, develop compassion and empathy for self and others, and meet their own needs.