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

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I have completed the Externship, Core Skills and Supervision required for certification and am in process of becoming certified. I have also completed advanced training on EFT and sexual health, postpartum, depression and EFIT (Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy).

— Kori Meyers, Counselor in Nashville, TN

Emotionally focused therapy is particularly useful when I work with couples. This model is great at highlighting the intent of each person, uncovering foundational beliefs that impact perceptions, and creating meaningful new experiences between partners. If you have tried couples therapy previously and not experienced relief, this modality can be effective in creating a platform for each person to feel heard and understood.

— Tera Buerkle, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Lexington, KY

Looking at humans through the lens of their emotions gives me an idea of their drivers. Not always, but a lot of the time, knowing where a behavior comes from helps to eliminate it. Accessing and expanding awareness of unacknowledged feelings associated with the family’s negative pattern. Addressing problems within relation blocks reinforcing this distress. Facilitating the sharing of unmet attachment needs and effective caregiving responses.

— Kathryn Krug, Marriage & Family Therapist in Santee, CA

I was trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in Graduate school and have been using it for the past 3.5 yrs. I find it to be very effective in helping clients easily recognize their patterns of behavior that lead them into the cycle of negativity and eventual despair for the relationship. This therapy allows couples to practice restructuring their "dance" moves or cycle both in and out of session eventually each partner can sooth and feel soothed by the other creating a secure attachment

— Alicia Bradshaw, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Chattanooga, TN

Our most vulnerable feelings such as fear, sadness, loneliness, etc. are often masked with secondary emotions such as anger and contempt. This happens because it is much more comfortable to express secondary feelings like anger than to express feelings like loneliness. Learning to talk about your vulnerable feeling with a safe person can help you feel more accepted, build more meaningful relationships, and become more present for your loved ones.

— Manny Romero, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Clemente, CA

Emotions have important messages to tell us about our wants and needs. Our work together will include heightened awareness of how you experience emotions (including your felt experience of emotions), practice in how to hold emotions without judgment, and allowance for emotions to surface and guide.

— Jess Thompson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Berkeley, CA

Emotionally Focused Therapy is an evidence-based treatment for couples, focusing on the patterns of communication that happen in the relationship. I help couples learn to identify your cycle of conflict, so you can predict (and avoid!) patterns that lead to arguing, feeling on edge, and being stuck in the pain of disconnection. In EFT, couples learn how to stop the cycle of conflict, as well as how to find new levels of safety and connection with one another to strengthen your bond.

— Shelly Crosby, Psychologist in Long Beach, CA

I have received training in EFT directly from the founder of the modality: Dr. Sue Johnson, as well as one of her most well-known trainers: Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen. I have completed two 4-day EFT externships, & am currently receiving advanced training & supervision in the modality (Core Skills).

— Madalina Coman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Gatos, CA

I specialize in using Emotionally Focused Therapy, the gold standard of the American Counseling Association, to facilitate healing with couples, individuals, and families. For years I've particularly worked with infidelity & betrayal trauma to bring relief. "EFT" gets to core of the issue, seeing the problem as not the people involved but the disconnection itself as the root. It is a warm, humanistic approach with a clear roadmap of how to get to change.

— Anna Gray Baker, Psychotherapist

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is used to help couples identify their negative interactional patterns, express their emotions fully, and reconnect with one another through therapeutic coaching. Creating a safe environment allows clients to feel open to express themselves and change their interactional patterns.

— Kathleen Smith, Marriage & Family Therapist in Washington, DC

Mind mapping. It is a skill that I use in almost every session and helps my clients understand their historical emotions and figure out what they want to do with their emotions in the future. This is only one skill that I infuse into sessions to help give emotions the primary focus.

— Matt Coffman, Licensed Professional Counselor

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has quickly become one of the most popular approaches to working with couples. It is widely recognized as one of the most effective forms of couples therapy. The focus is on understanding how our emotions, interactions, and attachments come together to form healthy and unhealthy patterns in our relationship. EFT aims to encourage the growth of new healthy patterns and move away from unhealthy patterns.

— Jacob Santhouse, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ,

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

My clients would say my approach of Emotionally Focused Therapy is both challenging and rewarding. This method gently and steadfastly supports each partner in uncovering and sharing underlying feelings, and having the experience witnessed and received by the other partner. Often these are emotions that fuel anger, discontent, arguments and physical distancing that is so painful for couples. Giving them space helps to shift things, and points to tools on sustaining a new closeness.

— Robin K. Schnitzler, Marriage & Family Therapist in Middleton, WI

When we suppress or numb our emotions we don't get to pick and choose the ones we want to feel, they all get suppressed. Emotions are information and they are often trying to tell us important things. Recognizing and sitting with our emotions is a practice that we can get better at; allowing us to move deeper into our understanding of ourselves and others.

— Lindsay Anderson, Professional Counselor Associate in , OR

My practice focuses more on processing emotions, in a multitude of ways, so people feel better.

— Sonia Kersevich, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Greenbelt, MD

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term 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.

— Devona Stalnaker-Shofner, Licensed Professional Counselor