What is Emotion Focused Therapy?
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a relatively new approach to psychological treatment for individuals. Originating in Canada in the 1980s it is mainly practiced in the US, Australia and the UK with a growing number of psychologists using the approach here in Ireland.
From an EFT perspective, emotions are viewed as the main force in our lives which determines how we act. They provide us with information, motivation and allow us to understand what we need. Psychological difficulty is viewed in terms of difficulty with one’s emotional experience. Consequently, therapeutic intervention from this perspective, works with emotions directly, painful emotion can be tolerated and transformed and more enjoyable emotion can be experienced to a greater degree.
At Spectrum Mental Health, our clinicians possess skills in a wide range of therapeutic techniques, including Emotion Focused Therapy. Direct work with the individual includes helping clients to focus and understand their emotions, accessing and expressing emotions which are healthy while leaning to tolerate and then transform unhelpful emotional experience. This is in turn can lead to reducing psychological distress.
Emotion Focused Therapy is used in the following way:
- It can identify and help change unhelpful emotional reactions that have developed in the person’s significant relationships.
- It can assist in identifying a person’s attachment needs which were not met, that may fuel negative cycles of reacting.
- EFT can help a person heal from traumatic attachment events, by enabling the person to experience new parts of themselves and new healthier emotional experience.
- It can foster the ability to develop secure relationships.