Sunday, January 22, 2017

Emotionally Focused Therapy: Evidence Based Couples Therapy

     Couples turning to counseling deserve and should have a working knowledge of how their therapist is going to work with them. It is a bit daunting to begin to ask a therapist how and why they work within a certain framework or even what framework that is. The therapist is never able to give a step by step account of every technique or topic that will be addressed, yet myself and every therapist should be able to give an explanation and description of the type of work and why this is their orientation and or methodology.
     At the Carlsbad Counseling Center, all the therapist use Emotionally Focused Therapy (developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s) when working with couples. EFT is an evidence based theoretical orientation and protocol that has over 20 years of strong successful outcome based research. Couples rated themselves with a 90% success rate and in the meta analysis the researchers found over 70 to 73% of distressed couples continued their success after follow up, meaning that the improvement within the relationship continues.
    EFT work is very intense and depth oriented. There are no quick fixes but the changes can last a lifetime and change the relationship into a positive and secure loving partnership. Most couples should plan at the minimum 8 session and can range up to 20. This is if the therapy is weekly, if not it can create an extended time frame. For myself and many others, the first session with with both partners, the next two sessions are one on ones to gain more knowledge and history of each person. After these three sessions the couple is seen together for the majority of the therapeutic relationship.
*EFT is a structured approach to couples therapy formulated on the science on adult attachment and bonding to expand our understanding about what is happening in couple relationships.

*Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • To expand and re-organize key emotional responses – the music of the attachment dance.
  • To create a shift in partners' interactional positions and initiate new cycles of interaction.
  • To foster the creation of a secure bond between partners.
*From the ICEEFT website. 

If you would like more information about EFT or couples therapy, please feel free to contact the center directly at : or call 760-434-9694

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