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Understanding Emotionally Focused Therapy: All You Need to Know

Updated: Nov 16, 2021



Some people tend to stifle their emotions to the point that it affects their well-being and health. Mental health experts believe that suppressing emotions can have negative consequences on a person’s mental health and ruin relationships.


Emotionally focused therapy is advised by experts for such people. This article will talk about what EFT is and how it works.

What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Emotionally focused therapy, or EFT, is a short-term therapy. It utilizes the approach that emotions are linked to identity. Emotions guide humans to make decisions and understand their preferences. It’s utilized to develop attachment and connection in adult relationships.

EFT was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Lee Greenberg in the eighties and is a component of couples therapy and is based on research of love as an attachment bond. Though it was developed with couples in mind, it can easily be used on family members to strengthen connections and build a stronger relationship.

Dr. Greenberg imposed that EFT is rooted in six principles. According to these principles, three of them disclose the clients’ emotions to them, generating vulnerability. Lack of awareness when it comes to emotions is harmful according to EFT and can result in negative outcomes.


Moreover, that ignoring emotions can cause problems while processing emotions.

Techniques Utilized in Emotionally Focused Therapy


A therapist who’s trained in emotional focused therapy, aids their clients in recognizing, identifying, and understanding their emotions. They further offer coping strategies to help manage these emotions.

EFT is a collaborative process with both parties having an equal share in the results. The therapist is all-ears and listens with compassion and understanding without judgments. Therapists also use reflective questions.

The three phases that help guide and keep track of progress are: de-escalation, restructuring, and consolidation.

The Phases of Emotionally Focused Therapy


De-escalation helps to realize and to be aware of patterns of conflict and attachment issues. This helps reframe and change perspectives with insight. With restructuring, clients become responsive and show emotions from a place of vulnerability.


Consolidation helps the therapist utilize communication strategies for interaction and helps couples prevent conflict with these strategies.




Benefits of Emotionally Focused Therapy


Emotionally focused therapy helps couples who are facing conflict and distress to overcome their issues. These issues can be depression, addiction, chronic illness, and PTSD. It can also help couples struggling with infidelity.

EFT benefits the clients with better emotional health and healthy dependency between partners and helps build stronger bonds linked to attachment theory. It helps improve awareness and understanding between partners.

Emotional hurdles can leave a negative impact on the relationship. But talking to mental health experts, like our couple therapists at Stem Wellness Institute, can help you solve issues by understanding your dynamics, identifying patterns, and offering solutions.

Our professional marriage counselors, psychotherapists, and couples therapists use techniques like EFT to implement meaningful change.

The top mental health therapist at Stem Wellness Institute is Dr. Stempel, who is an EFT certified clinical supervisor in the state of New Jersey

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