Why is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Much More Effective?

Why is Emotionally Focused Therapy Much More Effective?

Emotionally Focused Therapy, or EFT, is one of the most empirically validated interventions that revolutionized couple therapy.

It was developed by Dr. Susan Johnson, a Canadian psychologist, and is primarily based on attachment needs and emotions. More and more love science points out that we are bonding animals, which means that our brains and nervous systems have been designed to feel loved and connected to our partners, knowing that they have our back when in distress.

However, when we reach for our partner and can’t connect with them for whatever reason (your partner is feeling “too tired” or makes a comment like this “can we just move on already”), we PANIC.

This panic can show up as anger, frustration, feeling lonely, hurt, or disappointed.

As a result, both partners feel disconnected, defeated, and hopeless. If this sounds familiar to you, EFT can help you. What makes EFT different?

1. EFT does not focus on teaching couples communication and negotiation skills.

Why not? Because we know that we cannot address a problem deeply rooted in emotion by merely changing our communication style. We need to understand what is happening from an attachment perspective and “reprogram” our brain to respond effectively. How would it look like in a therapy office? We would first identify the pattern of couple’s interaction, something that we call “a dance” in EFT. This pattern will include each partner’s behaviors, emotions, and underlying believes about each other and the world. Most couples who come to see me are already aware about the existence of their “dance”, but can’t seem to get out of it.

2. EFT does not see one partner as wrong or right.

Instead, it sees the cycle as an enemy and helps partners to understand a bigger picture of the cycle. Here, the therapist helps the couple to reframe their distressful relational moments using attachment language, which couples find to be normalizing and liberating because they learn that there is nothing “broken” about them.

3. EFT is a brief intervention.

EFT takes between 8-20 sessions for couples to experience a relief and learn to reconnect on a new level (unless one or both partners have experienced past traumatic events, which might take longer time).

Still not sure whether you would benefit from EFT? It’s super easy to get started-take your first step today by scheduling your FREE consult call with me. You can visit me at my office in Wake Forest or we can do a virtual session as well. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have and discuss whether EFT modality is the right fit for YOUR unique situation.

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Irina Baechle,LCSW is a founder, owner, and a licensed therapist at IrinaBaechleCounselingLLC. She specializes in helping distant couples and anxious singles build truly connected and meaningful relationships. She currently offers online and in-home counseling services to residents of Virginia and North Carolina (and most countries abroad). Click here to schedule your free 15 min consultation. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube for useful tips and resources.

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