Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) was developed out of attachment theory, based on the ideas generated from John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth regarding bonds between parents and children. Les Greenberg, and Sue Johnson worked together in the 1980s to develop a psychological theory based on the remarkable similarities in adult relationships. While Greenberg diverged to focus on individual therapy and emphasize internal dynamic processes (called Emotion Focused Therapy), Johnson developed Emotionally Focused Therapy primarily to treat couples. However, research now indicates that EFT is helpful for trauma, families, and individuals.

Generally speaking, EFT is an empirically-based approach, which looks at emotions and emotional intelligence, which helps support stronger and more secure relationships by helping better understand how our actions impact others, and how our emotions drive our interactions. EFT believes that emotions are basically adaptive and guide our attachment needs, while therapy helps clients learn how to express these emotions in ways that facilitate bonding, tolerate and regulate them, while also making sense of those feelings expressed by others.

EFT practice is also based on methods designed to help people accept, express, regulate, make sense of and transform emotion, thereby increasing their overall emotional intelligence. EFT is ultimately based on attachment and growth theory, whereby all individuals have an innate drive towards bonding and connecting.

EFT attempts to make deep emotional changes in individuals and relationships by shifting from fear and conflict to corrective emotional experiences. Clients are taught to honor their feelings and express them in ways that bring others closer and resolve their needs, rather than engage in patterns that push others away and leave attachment needs unresolved.

Insight Psychological has locations across Alberta – call today to learn how emotionally focused therapy can help you!