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Emotionally Focused Therapy

What is EFT?
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a researched-based, short-term
(8–20 sessions) therapeutic approach to working with couples and
families. Using this approach, people learn to be secure, resilient and
successful in their relationships. EFT helps people enhance their loving
connections, increases relationship satisfaction, enhances open
communication and empathic responses toward one other and decreases
conflict in the relationship.

How do we know EFT is right for us?

When people get into negative relationship patterns, they exhibit
predictable behaviours that seem to keep them struck and unable to
reach out and find comfort and connection from one another. Some
typical difficult behaviours that people may experience and get stuck in,
when in a distressed relationship, are: put downs, confronting, criticizing,
judging, blaming, nagging, accusing, demanding, yelling, interrogating,
reasoning, defending, using humour, withdrawing, avoiding, minimizing,
appeasing, and dismissing. These behaviours serve a protective function
in some way, are often learned from past relationships, and often serve to
distance and disconnect people from one another.

EFT helps individuals, couples, and families explore and experience their
own internal factors (their emotions, perceptions, and physical
sensations) within these negative interactional patterns. Individuals begin
to understand how their and the other people’s behaviours are driven by
these internal factors and motivate the continuation of negative
relationship patterns. Individuals then learn to transform and manage their
emotions and express them to their partners in a way that will allow their
partner to hear and understand them.

EFT seeks to help individuals, couples, and families understand

themselves and their significant others in a deeper and more meaningful
way, helps people break out of the negative cycles within their
relationships, helps people to create a more safe and secure bond with
themselves and others, helps people rebuild trust in their relationships,
and assists people in resolving their long standing issues and/or making
important life decisions.
What does the research say about EFT?
The research shows that 70- 73% of couples reported recovery from
relationship distress and dissatisfaction and 86% reported significant
improvement over controls.1 EFT therapy is effective within 8 sessions for
non-complex couples2 and within 24 sessions for couples that have a
history of childhood abuse.3 EFT is recommended for a variety of issues
and difficulties that couples and families may face. For instance, EFT has
been successfully used in situations where a family member is suffering
from a chronic medical condition, such as Coronary Heart Disease4 or
Cancer.5,2 EFT also helps individuals with Depression6 Generalized
Anxiety Disorder7 Grief,8Infertility,9 and Trauma.10,3 EFT has shown that
63% of couples that had experienced an extra-marital affair were able to
achieve relationship satisfaction and forgiveness.11 In another randomized
controlled trial, EFT was successfully used with couples who have a
chronically ill child and it was found that couples had a reduction in
marital distress that lasted at the 5 month follow up.12 At the 2 year follow-
up with these same couples, researchers found that improvements in
marital functioning were maintained and in some, the results were even

Contact HopeWell Psychological today to learn how to be an effective

communicator and to rebuild trust, connection, and security in your
important relationships. Call HopeWell Psychological at 780-298-9401,
email us at, or complete this contact form.