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What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term psychotherapy approach that aids individuals in identifying and altering negative patterns causing distress. It is grounded on the concept that emotions are pivotal to identity and guide individual choices and decision-making processes. EFT also posits that a lack of emotional awareness or evasion of unpleasant emotions can lead to harm.

  • Emotions: In EFT, emotions are considered central to a person’s identity and decision-making. They are not just responses to situations, but also guide how people interact with the world.
  • Negative Patterns: These are harmful behaviors or thoughts that people often repeat, causing emotional distress. EFT helps identify and change these patterns.
  • Short-term Therapy: EFT is usually a short-term treatment, typically ranging from 8 to 20 sessions, depending on the level of distress.

What are the stages involved in EFT?

EFT involves three structured stages: De-escalation, where clients identify and express their main concerns, negative behavior patterns, and underlying emotions; Restructuring, where clients work to correct the attachment issues contributing to conflict in their lives; and Consolidation, where clients work to strengthen their emotional bonds.

  • De-escalation: This is the first stage of EFT where clients learn to identify and express their concerns, negative patterns, and emotions.
  • Restructuring: In this stage, clients work on resolving attachment issues that contribute to conflicts in their lives.
  • Consolidation: The final stage of EFT, where clients work on strengthening their emotional bonds.

Who can benefit from EFT?

EFT is effective for treating individuals, couples, and families. According to Psychology Today, 90% of couples who undergo EFT significantly improve their relationship, and 70-75% of couples no longer fit the criteria for relationship distress following treatment.

  • Individuals: EFT can help individuals dealing with emotional distress by helping them identify and change negative patterns.
  • Couples: EFT has been shown to significantly improve relationships, with a majority of couples no longer fitting the criteria for relationship distress after treatment.
  • Families: EFT can also be beneficial for families, helping to resolve conflicts and strengthen emotional bonds.

Who developed EFT?

EFT was developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s. It is typically a short-term treatment, with the number of sessions varying based on the level of distress.

  • Sue Johnson: A prominent psychologist and one of the key developers of EFT.
  • Les Greenberg: A well-known psychologist who co-developed EFT with Sue Johnson.
  • 1980s: The decade when EFT was developed and introduced as a therapeutic approach.

How long does EFT treatment usually last?

EFT is typically a short-term treatment, usually lasting between 8 to 20 sessions, depending on the level of distress.

  • Short-term Treatment: EFT is designed to be a brief therapy, typically lasting only a few weeks to a few months.
  • 8-20 Sessions: The typical range of sessions required for EFT, though this can vary depending on the individual’s level of distress.
  • Level of Distress: The severity of a person’s emotional distress can influence the duration of EFT treatment.

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