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Shire Psychology & Counselling
Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) is an empirically supported humanistic treatment that arose out of emotion theory and attachment theory. It views emotions as centrally important in the experience of self and others, in both adaptive and maladaptive functioning, and in therapeutic change. From the EFT perspective, change occurs by means of emotional awareness and arousal, regulation of emotion, reflection on emotion, and transformation of emotion taking place within the context of an empathetically attuned relationship. EFT works on the basic principle that people must first arrive at a place before they can leave it. Therefore, in EFT an important goal is to arrive at the live experience of a maladaptive emotion (e.g., fear and shame) in order to transform it. The transformation comes from the client accessing a new primary adaptive emotional state in the therapy session. Using the notion of transforming emotion with emotion, the EFT therapist guides clients to express emotions that pull for compassion and connection.
Emotionally focused therapy for couples (EFT-C) was originally developed in the 1980s by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. Johnson found that couples in distress were caught in a dreadful dance of negative interactions that kept them stuck and unable to resolve their conflicts. Using attachment theory, she developed a treatment to help these couples in distress. Today, EFT-C is one of the most empirically validated types of couples therapy. It has been found that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery, and that 90% show significant improvements. These results appear to be less susceptible to relapse than those from other approaches.
Emotion regulation is involved in three major motivational systems central to couples therapy: styles of attachment, identity or working models of self and other, and attraction or liking. (Source: Wikipedia)