Emotionally Focused Therapy

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the emotional bonds between individuals and the ways in which these bonds affect our behavior and mental health.

It is based on the idea that our emotions play a central role in shaping our experiences and our relationships with others.

Who developed emotionally focused therapy?

EFT was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, a clinical psychologist and research professor at the University of Ottawa. She began her work in the 1980s, drawing on theories from attachment theory and systems theory to create a new approach to therapy.

EFT is now recognized as an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

One of the key principles of EFT is that our emotions are not isolated or individual experiences. Instead, they are interwoven with the emotions of the people around us. This means that when we feel happy, sad, angry, or scared, we are not just reacting to our own internal experiences.

We are also responding to the emotional cues of the people around us.

This is especially true in close relationships, where our emotional bond with our partner or family members can have a profound effect on our mental health.

When our emotional bonds are strong and positive, we feel supported, loved, and secure. When they are strained or negative, we can feel anxious, depressed, and alone.

In EFT, the therapist works with the individual or couple to help them understand the patterns of behavior and emotion that are contributing to their distress.

This often involves helping them to identify and express their emotions in a healthy way, as well as helping them to understand the emotional reactions of their partner or family members.

One of the key techniques used in EFT is called “tracking”. This involves helping the individual or couple to pay attention to their emotional reactions and the ways in which these reactions are influenced by the people around them.

This can help them to understand the underlying causes of their distress and to develop more effective ways of coping with difficult emotions.

Another important aspect of EFT is the focus on creating positive emotional bonds. This involves helping the individual or couple to develop more positive and supportive ways of interacting with each other.

This can involve learning new communication skills, such as active listening and empathy, as well as finding new ways to express love and support.

Overall, EFT is a highly effective approach to therapy that can help individuals and couples to improve their emotional health and their relationships with others. If you are struggling with emotional distress or relationship issues, consider talking to a therapist who is trained in EFT.

Seeking Therapy Counseling Services is specialized in EFT therapy, contact us today to setup an appointment.

How Can Emotionally Focused Therapy Help?

How effective is emotionally focused therapy? As someone who has undergone emotionally focused therapy (EFT) myself, I can attest to its effectiveness in helping individuals develop healthier, more secure relationships.

EFT is a form of therapy that is based on the idea that our primary emotional needs are for security, safety, and connection with others. It is a short-term therapy that focuses on helping individuals identify and express their emotions, as well as develop more secure attachment bonds with their partners.

One of the key concepts in EFT is that of the attachment bond, which is the emotional connection that forms between individuals in close relationships. This bond is characterized by feelings of safety, security, and trust, and it is essential for our overall well-being.

In EFT, therapists help individuals understand how their attachment bonds with their partners may be impacting their relationships, and how they can work to strengthen these bonds.

One of the unique aspects of EFT is its focus on emotions. In traditional forms of therapy, emotions are often seen as secondary to thoughts and behaviors. In EFT, however, emotions are seen as central to our relationships and our overall well-being.

Through the use of techniques such as emotion coaching and emotion regulation, individuals are able to better understand and manage their emotions, which in turn can improve their relationships.

Another key aspect of EFT is its focus on the present moment.

Unlike other forms of counseling that may focus on past experiences, EFT is focused on helping individuals understand and address their current emotional experiences. This allows individuals to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and to make more conscious choices in their relationships.

Does emotionally focused therapy work?

Overall, EFT is a highly effective form of therapy that can help individuals develop healthier, more secure relationships. If you are struggling in your relationships and are looking for a way to improve them, I highly recommend giving EFT a try.


Johnson, S. (2014). Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships. Little, Brown and Company.

Johnson, S. (2008). Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. Little, Brown and Company.

Greenberg, L. & Johnson, S. (1988). Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Guilford Press.


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