Emotionally focused therapy is a great model because it works for many different populations, including individuals, families, and couples. EFT research says it is a highly effective model with a 90% success rate. In addition, 75% of couples will move from being distressed to be more content in their relationship. Also, growing research demonstrates the model’s efficacy when working with LGBTQ+ couples and those in polyamorous relationships.
What is it?
EFT is a therapy model aimed to help couples re-engage with one another, deepen their bond, and reorganize their interaction and negative cycles. The emotionally focused therapy model has three stages and nine steps. The model allows for therapy sessions to be slowed down, and controlled vs other therapy models, that may make it difficult to be productive, especially with a couple who is highly escalated. Over time, each partner will learn to access feelings of depth and emotion towards one another.
Can this work for me?
If both parties are committed to the process and the relationship, yes, it can work! The truth is, relationships need to be maintained and worked at overtime, and when in therapy for your relationship, the couple will have to do a degree of work. Being in couples therapy or marriage counseling is not where the couple gets to lay back and allows the therapist to do the heavy lifting. That is not going to be helpful at all. Instead, all parties involved (therapist included) actively participate in the change. In EFT, the therapist works diligently to validate each person’s experience in the relationship.
What else can you tell me?
The EFT model is impressive at helping couples (individuals and families) who have experienced attachment injuries to heal from them and make new meaning. Eft works very well with couples who have experienced infidelity. However, the therapy model is not helpful for couples engaging in an active affair. Being in an active affair is one of the contraindications of EFT.
All parties in the relationship need to feel safe. I refer to safety beyond physical safety, although active partner violence is a contraindication for EFT treatment. It is essential for the couple to feel emotionally safe in session to deepen emotions and connection. If either partner does not feel safe, then emotionally focused couples therapy won’t work. However, another possibility is EFiT or emotionally focused individual therapy.
By reading this, I will assume that you are human. If that is true, then EFT can work for you! We, as humans, have feelings. We get scared, become hurt, angered, triggered, and all desire connection at the basic human level. Emotionally focused therapy gives all of our emotions a voice at an individualized level that can work for us.
Emotionally focused therapy is a beautiful model that I chose to work to become certified. As a therapist, knowing how to hold space for people and their emotions is essential. It is a gift and a skill to do that for my clients. I also consider it to be an honor of mine to be able to do.
EFT is a model that will allow me to do all of this for clients, and it is a model that many therapists in our practice have been trained on. If you have any further questions about this model or our Houston-based practice, contact us for more information!
About the Author
Roma Williams is a licensed marriage and family therapist and supervisor (LMFT-S) and the founder of Unload It Therapy in Houston, Texas. She has over a decade of experience in the mental health field, with a history of providing counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Roma brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her practice. Her warm and empathetic approach to therapy has transformed the lives of countless clients who have sought her guidance. Roma is now also committed to helping to usher in the next generation of compassionate, responsible therapists through the weekly supervision she provides to the therapists of Unload It Therapy.