EFT Therapy Explained: What Is This And How Can It Help

Creative Arts Therapy Source | New York and New Jersey_Creative Arts Therapy Source | New York and New Jersey

Is there a foundation on which we can base our choices and our identity? If so, could that be emotions? Proponents of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) believe this is the case. This therapeutic approach guides us to better identify and process the emotions we experience on a daily or hourly basis. When we can name our emotions, it helps us resist avoiding them. This self-awareness is a giant first step toward learning what emotions can teach us.

Emotions are intricately connected to thoughts and actions. EFT is designed to help us understand this connection and use it as a platform for building a meaningful life. 

Some Basic Details About EFT

For starters, EFT is a collaborative effort. The therapist and the client (or clients) both contribute to the treatment. Ultimately, once the emotions have been recognized, it is the client who is best positioned to interpret them. A few things to know about EFT and its basis:

  • It is founded on attachment theory and thus focuses heavily on our interactions with others.
  • It explores the connections we make and the emotions generated by these connections 
  • The client is guided to uncover and discuss their underlying fears as they pertain to attachment
  • Relationships can be restructured and attachment style can be changed 
  • Vulnerabilities can foster a deeper bond if those vulnerabilities are acknowledged and addressed
  • EFT is a popular and effective choice for individuals and couples
  • It’s based on 30 years of empirical research

During your EFT sessions, you will receive a master class in emotions, e.g.

  • What they are and how they are produced
  • How they are experienced psychologically and physically 
  • How emotions shape your thoughts, behaviors, ideas, and beliefs

Who EFT Can Help

  • Couples who feel their relationship is in crisis or perhaps beyond repair 
  • People with trouble interacting with others besides their romantic partner (parent-child, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc.)
  • Those struggling with depression and/or anxiety
  • People who have experienced childhood abuse
  • Those with eating disorders or personality disorders
  • Anyone who feels disconnected from or numb to their own feelings
  • People who struggle with expressing their emotions

How EFT Sessions Work

You can think of this treatment as a collection of stages that take place over roughly eight to 20 weekly sessions. Here’s how it might go for couples EFT: 

  • As might be expected, the therapist will need to get to know the couple. If it’s a couple, this will involve lots of observation to discern what is being left unsaid. But either way, the initial part of the treatment is used to identify which issues feel most urgent. From there, the early sessions will serve to de-escalate volatile emotions,
  • The second stage is dedicated to repairing and rebuilding the couple’s bond. They need to both feel safe enough to be vulnerable and learn new skills. This is how growth happens. During Stage Two, an EFT therapist may begin to distance themselves and allow the partners to start problem-solving
  • The final sessions make up the final stage. Here it will be all about reinforcing what has been learned so far. The goal is not for an expert to bestow solutions upon a troubled couple. Rather, EFT cultivates an environment where the partners develop tools and skills that will serve them long after the treatment is over. 

Is EFT Right For You?

Emotion-Focused Therapy could be precisely what you and your relationship need. The best way to decide if this is true is to schedule a free and confidential consultation. I would love to chat with you, learn more about your situation, and answer your questions. Why not reach out today to get this process started? 

Creative Arts Therapy Source offers in-person therapy on Long Island. Online therapy is available across New York & New Jersey.