What is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy?

What is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy?

EFT was developed in the early 1980s by Dr. Sue Johnson and Prof. Leslie Greenberg. Sue Johnson has further developed the model by incorporating the results of research and basic humanistic, empirical and systemic research. This enables us to better understand what happens in couple relationships. EFT therapists work with a precise model. Extensive research work is now available to demonstrate the effectiveness of EFT. Under this link you will find a research overview. Research studies have shown that 70-75% of couple’s report recovery from relationship distress, and 90% of couples achieve a significant improvement. The main contraindication for EFT is persistent violence in the relationship. EFT is used with many different couples in private practices, university centres and clinics as well as in many different cultural circles all over the world. Distressed couples include partners who suffer from problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorders and chronic illnesses.

Strengths of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

  • EFT is the only model of couple therapy that is based on a clearly delineated and empirically validated theory of adult love. These concepts are supported by empirical studies on the nature of relationship problems and adult attachment theory.
  • EFT is collaborative and respectful of its clients, combining experiential Rogerian techniques with systemic interventions.
  • EFT is based on a specific change model and specific intervention techniques.
  • The change process in EFT consists of nine steps in a three-stage process.
  • Sixteen outcome studies provide empirical validation that the EFT approach to couple therapy is effective and that the results are lasting.
  • EFT has been applied to many different types of problems and populations.

Objectives of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

  • Expanding and reorganizing the key emotional reactions – the attachment dance
  • Shifting positions of the partners and initiating and establishing new interaction patterns
  • Promoting the establishment of a secure bond between the partners.

Dr. Sue Johnson über emotionsfokussierte Paartherapie (Video auf Englisch):