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Emotion-Focused Therapy

What is Emotion-Focused Therapy?

Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT) focuses on emotions and the way we deal with them. It also puts emphasis on the self and the importance of past relationships. EFT is based on the idea that many mental and physical health concerns are caused by avoiding emotions and pretending that everything is okay, or by not getting our emotional needs met. EFT helps individuals resolve unpleasant emotions by working with these emotions instead of suppressing them. It uses the unpleasant emotions as a source of information. EFT focuses on how you experience problems and what they trigger you to do as a way of coping with your emotions. 

EFT is offered in individual, couples or family format. Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) was first developed for eating disorders. Recently the use of EFFT has expanded to involve other treatment areas.

In EFFT, parents learn how to be the emotion coach and recovery coach for their child. EFFT sees a child as a child, no matter the age. The bond between parent and child is a key part of the therapy. EFFT explores any fears or blocks that stop parents from supporting their child. It helps the whole family to believe they can reach their goal. It also works with miscues such as, “I don’t want my parents involved in my treatment,” which can often mean “I want my parents involved in my treatment, but I’m afraid that it won’t go well for any of us.”

What types of challenges are best suited for EFT?

EFT is especially effective for the following types of challenges and disorders:

  • moderate depression
  • the effects of childhood deprivation or abuse
  • interpersonal problems
  • eating disorders
  • couples and relationship difficulties

How long will it take?

This depends on the individual, but usually EFT lasts for 16 -20 weeks. 

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