Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) was developed primarily by Dr. Susan Johnson as an attachment-oriented therapy for distressed couples. It is focused on developing a secure connection between partners and the goal is greater emotional intimacy, respect and understanding.
EFT is generally a short-term (8-20 sessions) approach. Through the exploration of emotions, behaviours and interactions, the couple begins to identify their individual roles and the effect it has on the relationship dynamic. Each partner is encouraged to express their emotions and experiences in a non-judgmental and non-critical environment. By witnessing the release of emotions and anxieties in their partner, the couple begin to see the validity of each other’s experience and the impact it has on the relationship as a whole. They are gently guided to create new patterns of interaction where each person’s need is met with attunement and care.
Research has found that approximately 70 to 75 percent of couples move from distress to recovery when engaged in EFT and approximately 90 percent show significant improvement in their relationship.