Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) – or emotionally focused couples therapy as it is sometimes known – is a short-term therapy technique focused on adult relationships. EFT seeks to help clients better understand both their own emotional responses and those of significant people in their lives. A therapist using EFT will look for patterns in the relationship and identify methods to create a more secure bond, increase trust, and help the relationship grow in a healthy direction. In a session, the therapist will observe the interactions between clients, tie this behavior into dynamics in the home, and help guide new interactions based on more open feelings. Sometimes, this includes clients discovering more emotions and feelings than they were aware they had. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists


“Although many of us think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, biologically we are feeling creatures that think:” Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroanatomist. Emotionally Focused Therapy recognizes that our emotional lives are the source of our desires, values, sense of meaning and purpose, and attachment to self, others, and the world. Its goal is to help clients effectively acknowledge, cope with, and regulate their emotions in order to enrich and transform their lives.

— Edwin Ancarana, Psychotherapist

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is my primary treatment modality for couples. With the guidance of EFT principles, I help clients recognize their maladaptive patterns of relating. They are then taught how to recognize these patterns in the moment and choose a healthier and more productive communication style. Once clients are able to develop healthier communication skills, they are able to engage in deeper forms of communication that promote healing and connection.

— Catherine Reynolds, Clinical Psychologist in Atlanta, GA

EFT is based on bonding the relationship. Relationships can get stuck in emotional patterns that can be negative to the relationship. EFT assists with shifting the patterns to create more positive emotional bond. Increase intimate satisfaction and trust.

— Cassandra Hesse, Counselor in Austin, TX

EFT uses a series of steps to work towards building a stronger bond. Through actively engaging with each other with empathy and shared vulnerability, couples begin to understand and resolve their conflict and distress. The therapist aims to bring the couple to a place where they can soften criticism and blame, can engage rather than withdraw and risk reaching out to each other. Trust can grow and flourish within such a shared experience.

— Sarah Thompson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

Graduate training in EFT through university, as well as additional CEU certificates and workshops in EFT and treating couples.

— Alyssa Doberstein, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Raleigh, NC

EFT strengthens attachment bonds and builds trust, connection, and comfort in relationships. This therapy helps clients replace unwanted relational patterns with more adaptive, gratifying ways of relating. For couples as well as individuals.

— Happy Apple Center for Anxiety, Depression, & Couples, Psychotherapist in New York, NY

When couples come to me after the discovery of an affair, the emotional bond between them appears broken. I help them to pick up the pieces by exploring the unmet attachment needs they are each dealing with. Emotion is the music of the dance of love. Change the music; change the dance.

— Mark Cagle, Counselor in Dallas, TX

The root of all healing comes from processing emotion, and this is not an easy thing to do. As humans we avoid, resist, and repress in order to protect ourselves. Using EFT, I can build a relationship with my clients, pull the emotion out, and help make connections. Therapy is a safe space to process emotions and my clients and I work together to break down those barriers.

— Jacqueline Siempelkamp, Licensed Professional Counselor in Radnor, PA

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has a 90% success rate in helping clients break negative cycles of interaction and grow in their emotional intimacy and connection. Couples often find themselves caught in patterns that may involve getting louder or shutting down. EFT helps you break out of these patterns and communicate in a more authentic and vulnerable way so that you feel safe and secure in your relationship and develop a bond that can withstand life challenges and enhance your life.

— Eva Belzil, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Collins, CO

I believe that connection and emotional safety are the keys to happiness in relationships. But unfortunately, we tend to become stuck in negative patterns that reinforce disconnection. What we bring to the relationship is formed through our experiences with past relationships and our histories. I help clients to become aware of these patterns and change them. Through this, we can have new healthy interactions and experience more vulnerable communication and connections.

— Kelsey Riddle, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Scottsdale, AZ

Emotions play a critical role in therapy and our daily lives. I help individuals truly understand how their emotions play an integral role in their lives and how they can connect with their emotions in a way that allows them to become empowered by them. This is what is meant by experiential therapy and putting clients in the driver seat of their therapeutic experience.

— Daniel Lavelle, Licensed Professional Counselor in McLean, VA

EFT for couples is an excellent source to use to help with couples since communication, understanding, and empathy are missing out of the relationship. I use primary and secondary emotions to have each person understand one another and to help interact and enhance the emotional bond.

— Amisha Gandhi, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Kirkland, WA

Emotions make us human. I believe we need to learn how to regulate those big emotions and understand how they affect our behaviors. Focusing on how we feel in the moment can lead us to make better, decision making abilities. ACT, not React.

— Lindsay Noreen, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Otsego, MN

Grief is another common reaction to chronic illness. Various stages of grief including denial, bargaining, anger, and sadness. You may feel you're on a roller coaster of emotion—accepting one day and angry the next. EFT incorporates elements of experiential therapy such as gestalt and person-centered approaches, systemic therapy, and attachment theory. The goal of using this approach for me is to: de-escalate, restructure interactions, and consolidate one's time spent experiencing symptoms.

— Dana Fears, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Tigard, OR

Emotion-focused therapy targets people’s emotional development and allows them to fully explore and understand their feelings. Discovering and recognizing the physiological, along with the mental, effects of emotions is part of this therapeutic modality. Psychoeducational methods are utilized when necessary to expand people’s knowledge of the wide emotional range they may experience.

— Brittany Gray, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL

Do you find you and your partner(s) are getting stuck in the same argument over and over? You know you both care for each other but neither of you feel heard and seen. Using Emotionally Focused Therapy, I can help you get in touch with your deeper emotions, address your relational conflict cycle, and build safe & emotionally connected relationships.

— Taylor Kravitz, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

Sometimes you feel your emotions so strongly that it prevents you from thinking straight. I teach clients to regulate and cope with negative emotions as well as gain awareness of their emotions. Furthermore, I assist with developing a strategy to work effectively with a range of emotions.

— Yifan Jin, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

I have completed the EFT Externship and have used EFT in my practice for many years as well as taken other EFT training at conferences.

— Sheila Addison, Counselor in Oakland, CA

I have extensive training in Emotion-Focused Couple Therapy.

— Amy Markley, Therapist in Chicago, IL