Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a therapeutic approach which postulates that emotions are the key to one’s identity. In EFT, emotions are seen as important in fulfilling fundamental human needs. Therapists work with clients to identify, experience, make sense of, and manage their emotions. Taken together, EFT is an effective evidence-based method of enhancing emotional awareness and improving interactions. It is also helpful for people seeking assistance with a wide range of concerns to be better able to cope with and decrease negative effects of maladaptive emotions.


Goals of EFT

  • Enhance awareness of emotions  
  • Learn to accept and regulate emotions
  • Describe emotions clearly and in detail
  • Increase awareness of the multiple layers of emotional experiences and learn to identify the most direct reaction
  • Evaluate whether emotions are helpful or unhelpful in various situations
  • Identify the source of unhelpful emotions
  • Learn to use helpful emotions to guide action
  • Develop alternative, healthy ways of coping with situations that often elicit maladaptive emotion


Types of EFT and their Specific Goals

✽   EFT for Couples

Create more secure bonds and trust to move relationships towards healthier directions.

✽   EFT for Individuals

Learn healthy ways to interact and express their emotions with others.

✽   EFT for Families

Help family members improve connectedness and sense of belonging within the family.


Skills Learnt in EFT

✽   Validation

Therapist helps clients feel that their emotions and experiences are understood and respected.

✽   Heightening of emotions

Therapist encourages or stimulates certain emotions in clients to allow them to better understand these intense emotions.

✽   Restructuring

Therapist lays the foundation for new and more healthy interactions to deal with emotional experiences.

✽   Redirection

Therapist teaches clients to identify negative interactional cycles and apply the new strategies they have learned through therapy.


Problems that EFT can Tackle

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Childhood Abuse or Neglect
  • Eating Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Interpersonal Issues