Many therapies have a strong focus on how we think, and use talking to help resolve our difficulties. Whilst this approach can be extremely effective, some clients find that it does not go far enough to address their emotional struggles or suffering, whether it is anxiety, depression, trauma, or other challenges.
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically-supported, evidence-based treatment developed over many decades. It is inspired by both humanistic and gestalt traditions in psychology. EFT involves a style that combines both following and guiding a client’s experiential process, and emphasises both relationship and intervention skills.
EFT recognises that emotions are fundamentally helpful and enriching of the human experience, enabling us to survive and thrive. However, for some people, their emotional responses can block their fulfilment; for example, by being being too strong, or too disconnected.
Individuals and couples can benefit from Emotion Focused Therapy with the help of an empathically attuned relationship with their therapist, who seeks to help them to better identify, experience, explore, make sense of, transform, and more flexibly manage their emotions. As a result, persons receiving EFT treatment become stronger and are more skilful in accessing the important information and meanings about themselves and their world that emotions contain, and become more skilful in using that information to live vitally and adaptively.
For more information about Emotion Focused Therapy, please visit the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy.