Emotionally focused therapy (EFT)
Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is a psychotherapeutic approach which is primarily based on the premise that emotions are key to identity. EFT puts forward, emotions are like a guide for individual choice and decision making. EFT makes an assumption that type lacking emotional awareness or willfully avoiding unpleasant emotions can be reason of harm. It may leave us unable to use the important information which emotions provide.
What to expect?
EFT sessions typically circumscribe the development of two important skills. which are:
- To arrive at one's emotions with increased awareness and acceptance.
- To learn to transform emotions and better utilize the information they provide to avoid negative or harmful behaviors or effects of certain emotions.
Therapists who practice this method take a non-judgmental, compassionate, and reflective approach to listening and questioning. This allows the person in therapy receive a better understanding of their emotions. There on, various therapeutic techniques, which is often called emotion coaching are utilized. This coaching usually help people to learn novel ways to use healthy emotions to guide their actions. Emotion coaching might further assist people transform and move on from challenging emotions.
How does it work?
Initial therapeutic sessions focus upon assisting people to arrive at emotions. One (or more) of the following goals are frequently sort after in each session:
- To increase awareness about the emotions.
- To learn to describe emotions properly and with necessary details.
- To learn to accept, allow, and regulate emotions.
- To gain awareness of the multiple layers of emotional experiences and to learn to identify and recognize the most direct reaction.
The next phase of treatment which focuses on leaving, might also include the following objectives:
- To evaluate if emotions are helpful or unhelpful in various situations
- To identify the source of unhelpful emotions or emotions which cannot be constructively put to use.
- To learn to use helpful emotions which can guide action
- To learn to actively change the unhelpful emotions
- To develop an alternative, healthy ways of coping with situations that might elicit maladaptive emotions.
- To form a personal scripts that might help to challenge the destructive thoughts which may be associated with unhelpful or maladaptive emotions.
EFT is usually thought to have been successful when the person in treatment has an increased awareness of their emotional experience and then the therapeutic sessions are usually terminated. They might also develop an improved ability to regulate emotions and become better at transforming unhelpful emotions.
When is it used?
This method was first employed to treat depression. Since then it have expanded in practice to address issues like Childhood abuse or neglect, Eating disorders, Anxiety, Interpersonal issues, and Borderline personality. EFT have also been found evidently effective in working with couples in distress, in relationship counselling and marital therapy.
Role of therapist:
Therapists who are qualified in EFT can assist people seeking assistance with a range of issues. These therapists might help people learn to become more aware of their emotions and develop a better understanding about their emotions, making people better at using information available by adaptive emotions. After a successful therapy, people may better able to cope with and experience decrease negative effects of maladaptive emotions.
Van Nuys, D. (n.d.). An interview with Leslie Greenberg, PhD, on emotion-focused therapy.
What is emotion-focused therapy (EFT)? (n.d.).
Goldman, R. N., Watson, J. C., and Greenberg, L. S. (2011, June 5). Contrasting two clients in emotion-focused therapy for depression 2: The case of 'Eloise,' 'It’s like opening the windows and letting the fresh air come in.' Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 7, 305-338. doi: 10.14713/pcsp.v7i2.1093
What is emotion focused therapy? (n.d.).