Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Status and Challenges
by Susan M. Johnson, John Hunsley, Leslie Greenberg and Dwayne Schindler
This article presents the basis for, and the research on, emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT), now recognized as one of the most researched and most effective approaches to changing distressed marital relationships. Drawing on attachment theory and the research on interactional patterns in distressed relationships, we describe the theoretical context of EFT. We then outline the nature of the clinical interventions used in EFT and the steps hypothesized to be crucial to couple change. The central role of accessing and working with emotional issues in the relationship context is highlighted. Following this presentation, we review both the outcome and process research on EFT and present meta-analytic data from randomized clinical trials to substantiate the clinical impact of EFT on couple adjustment. Finally, the empirical and clinical challenges facing EFT are summarized.
From: Clinical Psychology Science and Practice 6, 67–79,1999