Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (“EFT”) is a new therapeutic modality for adult relationships developed by Sue Johnson that helps couples understand how love works between people. It is heavily based on attachment theory and the work of John Bowlby, among others.
Humans are social animals that need strong emotional bonds with partners and loved ones in order to flourish. Experiencing partners as present, emotionally responsive and actively engaged is essential to the safety, growth and well-being of any relationship. Partners must be able to rely on each other to be available, vulnerable and understanding of each, even when they do not agree. EFT helps couples establish the kind of strong, secure bond that helps partners experience a safe, loving and fulfilling relationship.
EFT interprets distress in a relationship as the result of a threat or rupture of the emotional bond or “connection” between partners. When this occurs, we are left with coping mechanisms that throw us into negative cycles or “dance” that highjack the relationship and result emotional distance between the couple. Negative cycles often result in expressions of frustration, resentment, criticism and anger.
EFT helps couples identify and understand the choreography of the negative dance that drives them apart and blocks the free flow of love, understanding and empathy between them. Once the “cycle” is clearly mapped out and understood, couples are able to correctly identify each other’s emotional cues, safely and effectively express their needs, and ultimately discover a new way of reinforcing and strengthening the kind of secure emotional bond we all long for.
EFT transforms relationships and helps couples understand love and each other with empathy, understanding and love.