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Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

EFT is an evidence-based modality that focuses on improving the attachment and bonding between you and your partner. Our EFT trained therapists will help you understand and change patterns that lead to feelings of disconnection in your relationship.

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a  form of therapy that focuses on adult relationships and attachment/bonding. The therapist and clients look at patterns in the relationship and take steps to create a more secure bond and develop more trust to move the relationship in a healthier, more positive direction.

This approach to couples therapy was developed by doctors Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s and is rooted in research on love as an attachment bond. While often used for couples, it has also been adapted for use with families. This treatment can help couples, individuals, and family members form a more secure emotional bond, which can result in stronger relationships and improved communication. 

How does EFT Work?

EFT focuses on the present time to makes changes in the here and now. There are three steps, or stages, of EFT. The first is to de-escalate the couple’s or family member’s negative cycle of interactions, and help them see and understand what is happening in their relationship. Clients come to see that the problems lie in insecurities and distance. The next stage is to restructure interactions, wherein the therapist helps clients discuss their fears in the relationship, using language that doesn’t push the other away. Clients learn to turn toward each other and discuss their needs and they become more open and responsive to each other. Consolidation is the third stage of EFT, wherein the therapist helps clients see how they got into negative patterns and points out how they were able to change those patterns and can continue these types of conversations in the future.

What can EFT Help With?

Emotionally focused therapy can benefit couples who are struggling with conflict, distress, and poor communication. While often used in couples therapy, EFT can also be helpful in individual therapy and family therapy. With individuals, this approach can help people improve emotion-related problems. It can also help family members form more secure bonds with one another. Individuals and couples who may benefit from EFT include those where one or both partners have:





Chronic Illness

Post-tramatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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- Catherine Rosborough, M.Ed., CPS


Emotionally Focused Therapy for Individuals (EFIT) Featuring EFT Trainer Lorrie Brubacher - Video

A Primer for Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy - Article

About Dr. Sue Johnson

Wiebe SA, Johnson SM. A review of the research in emotionally focused therapy for couples. Family Process. September 2016;55(3):390-407.    

Emotion Focused Family Therapy

The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)

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