Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is a newer method of short-term therapy that is targeted to help couples heal from the conflict, improve their bond and resolve the core of their distress. Though EFT was discovered in Canada, it is now practiced internationally and is recognized by the American Psychological Association.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) was developed by two Canadian psychologists---Dr. Susan Johnson and Dr. Leslie Greenberg---in 1988. EFT is now recognized and practiced internationally. According to the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, research studies find that 70 to 75 percent of couples move from distress to recovery and 90 percent show significant improvements.
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EFT is a short-term therapy that generally lasts 8 to 20 sessions. It goes through three stages, according to VCFI. Stage one is tracking your communication problems. This includes recognizing triggers, exploring these triggers, unlatching from unhealthy behaviors, defusing conflict and recognizing that your partner is not the enemy. Stage two is creating a new and positive pattern of communication. The couple will learn to communicate effectively and create an intimate bond. Stage three is applying new communication patterns to contentious issues of the past.
Dr. Paul James in Vancouver states that EFT is based on the attachment theory, developed by John Bowlby, that concludes that all humans possess an innate yearning for trust and security, or attachment. These needs for children involve at least one parent and a romantic partner for adults. This attachment is supposed to be a comfortable and safe dependency. EFT is based on the understanding that relationships have conflict due to the need for attachment, not character flaws.
Benefits of EFT include improvement in multiple aspects of the relationship. EFT works to defuse conflicts, bring you closer to your partner, improve all forms of intimacy and resolve problems in the relationship. EFT can be applied to families as well as couples.