EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED THERAPY:
CREATING A “SAFE HAVEN” IN RELATIONSHIPS
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a relationship therapy that helps transform anger, resentment and distance to harmony, caring, and loving engagement; often in a limited number of sessions. This therapy approach was formulated and refined over a period of more than twenty years by Dr. Susan Johnson of Ottawa, Canada and several of her colleagues.
The research on EFT has found that 70-73% of the couples receiving this counseling are successful in overcoming marital distress and almost 90% of couples improve to a large degree. This is the highest success rate demonstrated by any couples’ counseling and it has been effective across lines of culture, race and class.
Human beings are hard-wired to connect with others and seek a loving and meaningful relationship. What often occurs, however, is that couples become trapped in patterns of behavior characterized by bickering and conflict. This includes fighting about insignificant matters such as who takes out the garbage and how one squeezes the toothpaste as well as more significant issues such as sex and money. However, these issues are rarely the real source of people’s discontent.
EFT helps couples deepen their relationships by uncovering core wants, desires, and needs and provides the skills for them to communicate these to each other in a safe and trusting manner. Clients are able to get in touch with their primary feelings and emotions such as sadness, disappointment, hurt, and fear which are often masked by feelings of anger and frustration. Couples learn how to comfort, reassure, and empathize with each other. This is a key to building strong and healthy relationships and is the foundation for connection and intimacy.
EFT is not a miracle process. It requires that both partners be committed and motivated to make a relationship work. It is not appropriate to use EFT for situations where ongoing affairs, abuse or substance addictions exist.
The success rate I have experienced in my counseling practice mirrors the research results. I have witnessed couples transform their relationships from being distressed to finding deep happiness together. It is exciting to see the positive changes my clients make after a few EFT sessions and I am hoping to help more people develop satisfying relationships.
For more information call Hildie Newman at 303-902-2084.
Hildie Newman is a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) who has been in practice for over 25 years in Englewood, Colorado. Hildie has a masters degree from the University of Denver and has post graduate training in EFT.