What Is EFT Therapy? 6 Things You Should Know
Updated March 17, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Ever wondered what EFT therapy is? Well, this is the article for you! Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a treatment that was initially started by doctor Sue Johnson. The 'T' actually stands for therapy, and it dwells on the notion that there is a connection between human emotions and needs. This therapy primarily focuses on adult relationships as well as attachment or bonding.
EFT holds that changing problematic interpersonal relationships and emotional issues can happen using short-term therapy. Research shows that EFT is highly effective and the majority of those who use EFT have the chance of showing remarkable improvement using these techniques. Keep reading to find out five benefits of EFT, therapy strengths, as well as weaknesses.
- EFT Links Emotions And Health
According to EFT, most of the mental or overall health concerns people suffer with are present because of the avoidance of emotions and failing to accept when things are not okay. Consequently, this leads to unmet emotional needs.
EFT plays a vital role in helping individuals deal with their unpleasant emotions instead of suppressing or avoiding them. The result is the manifestation of not only emotional but also physical healing through EFT. Therapy can indeed be the bridge between strong mental and physical health.
One positive of this therapy is that it can work on anyone and virtually any emotional issue. No problem is too big or deep for EFT. Therapy results also present in a short amount of time and are often permanent.
- EFT Is A Step-By-Step Process
Emotional therapy technique adapts nine steps. During an EFT session, couples or families explore their emotions and their corresponding behaviors, and this helps in identifying the role that each play in the relationship. The effect that their actions have on the connection is discussed as well.
Initially, the emotional therapist assesses how the couple interacts. In the mid-cycle, the therapist together with the parties involved comes up with ways of forming stronger and new bonds between the individuals. Negative cycle interactions are de-escalated and changed through this process.
EFT therapists are expected to be nonjudgmental to enable the participants to express their emotions without any fear of being judged.
The nine steps are as outlined below:
Identification of main issues in the relationship.
Pinpointing the various ways through which negativity increase conflict when dealing with the main issues.
At this stage, the therapist will identify any fears and bad emotions that either of the parties fails to accept that are contributing to the negativity.
Next, the emotional therapist will help the couple or family to change their interaction patterns by allowing them to voice their deep emotions. They are then taught how to express and accept the emotional needs of the other party.
The final stage is when the couples are shown ways of adopting new communication methods to voice their problems and come up with new solutions. Finally, the couple, family, or individual learn how they can use their newly acquired skills outside of the therapy session.
- EFT Can Improve Your Romantic Relationships
Emotionally focused couples' therapy is an effective method of reducing conflict between a couple. During relationships, couples are likely to deal with various conflicts and if not settled this can lead to an end of a marriage. It is especially so if one of the party's emotional needs are not met. Couples or family members who have emotional disconnection or are continually criticizing and displaying anger towards each other can utilize emotionally focused therapy.
When couples are dealing with significant issues, there may be feelings of anger and resentment. Through EFT, couples are more aware of the present emotions, the effect they have on the relationship, and how they can overcome the issues. It will help them to have a stronger bond.
Although the western world views independence even in relationships as being strong, one must accept that having secure attachment helps in having a strong and fulfilling relationship. You are human and having a secure bond helps one to feel more positive towards life. EFT can help with this.
- EFT Can Make You A Stronger Person
Emotionally focused therapy can also work on individuals. It can help rectify an individual's emotional experiences during therapy to help the person become more secure when dealing with others. During the study of attachment theory, you will realize that EFT provides individuals with ways of dealing with their depression and anxiety.
EFT therapy can help individuals to expand and broaden their emotional responses in their key relationships in life. Besides, it can improve a person's level interactions and aide in creating new interactions or relationships. It is a successful way of dealing with an individual's stressors such as trauma borderline personalities, anxiety, eating disorders, or unpleasant childhood experiences.
- EFT Can Improve Family Communication
Families can also benefit from EFT. Therapy has long been a way of helping people become more connected and emotionally focused therapy can take relationships to the next level.
The ability of the EFT therapist to assess the emotions that underly in the particular family's interaction patterns is the primary goal in emotionally focused family therapy. EFT will help each family member understand their feelings and those of the other family members. In turn, the therapist will help them to be more effective in their communication and during interactions.
In the family setting, EFT may be useful in dealing with issues such as the following: behavioral problems in teens, divorce, and handling of blended families.
- EFT Can Solve Major Issues
Emotionally focused therapy can be used to solve the following issues:
- Mistrust and betrayal, especially in cases where infidelity has been a problem in the past
- Lack of intimacy in marriage. There is a considerable number of couples who are no longer intimate with their partners and make use of EFT to solve their issues so that they can create stronger bonds between them
- Family issues such as finances, parenting of children, divorce, etc.
- Individuals who are unable to control their emotions because of personality and mood disorders or past trauma
- People with borderline personality disorders, in particular, can learn new ways of expressing themselves and the best ways of interacting with the community at large
Strengths Of EFT
- The application of EFT has been validated through empirical research making it an excellent option for those wanting to overcome emotional issues through science-backed therapies
- Under the right set up and environment, EFT clients will learn how to deal with their hidden emotions instead of avoidance resulting in positively transformed individual, families, and couples
- It utilizes specified interventions and strategies. It is done by certified EFT therapists who are continually getting training and assessment for them to keep their certification
- A better understanding of individual and partner's needs
- Helps in achieving a strong and lasting relationship
Limitations Of EFT
- Some psychotherapists have criticized EFT's approaches by claiming that they use flawed theoretical claims that are very different from the everyday troubles of human beings
- For the techniques to be effective, the client needs to very open and honest. Therefore, if an individual is not forthcoming during the counseling process, then they will not benefit from emotional therapy
How To Find An Emotionally-Focused Therapist
There are many ways of finding an emotionally focused therapist. When looking for potential EFT therapist, it is essential to find out whether they have experience in couple or family therapy. Don't be shy or afraid to ask about their training and level of education regarding EFT. Therapists understand that knowing their background is important to patients and will be willing to share with you.
If you want to take a guess working out of finding a therapist, Betterhelp can assist you in getting the most suitable one. If you have issues that you feel are best addressed by EFT, therapy can be arranged by contacting Betterhelp today.
The great thing about this service that they ensure your therapist is licensed as a mental health therapist. If you are not sure whether your emotional or other issues can be solved by engaging in EFT, a licensed professional therapist can help you make that call.
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