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Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)

What is Emotion Focused Couples Therapy?

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically-validated approach to couples counseling that focuses on identifying and working through emotional issues within the relationship. Rather than focusing on conflicts or behaviors, EFT targets the underlying emotions that are fueling distress between partners.

The premise of EFT is that relationship problems often stem from repetitive negative patterns of interaction that leave one or both partners feeling emotionally disconnected and unheard. EFT aims to create new cycles of bonding interactions and help couples develop more secure attachment with each other.

How Does EFT for Couples Work?

In EFT, the therapist guides the couple to:

  1. Identify the negative cycle they get stuck in during conflicts and arguments. This includes the unspoken emotions and unmet needs.
  2. Understand how these patterns developed from childhood experiences and past relationships.
  3. Reshape these patterns by allowing deeply-held emotions to be expressed in a safe, supportive environment.
  4. Cultivate more compassion and responsiveness from their partner through new bonding experiences.

The goal is to help each partner become more emotionally accessible, responsive and engaged with each other. This allows them to send clearer emotional signals, have more positive interactions, and build a stronger foundation of trust and security within the relationship.

What are the Benefits of EFT for Couples?

EFT has been shown to help couples:

  • Improve communication and deepen intimacy
  • Resolve conflicts and heal old hurts/resentments
  • Express needs for closeness in a vulnerable, authentic way
  • Develop more empathy and understanding for each other
  • Reshape rigid negative patterns into more flexible ones
  • Strengthen the emotional bond and attachment in the relationship

Numerous studies have found EFT leads to highly successful outcomes, helping 70-75% of couples recover from distress and develop healthier, more secure bonds.

EFT is one of the most empirically-validated and effective approaches for working with couples. If you're struggling with emotional disconnection or recurring conflicts, an EFT therapist can help you break through and rediscover the loving connection you once had.

I am a trained EFT Therapist.