February 10, 2024

Who benefits from emotionally focused therapy?

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  • Understanding Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Who can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy

Understanding Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has gained significant popularity in recent years as a highly effective approach to couples therapy (Learn more about the effectiveness of EFT couples therapy here.). But EFT is not limited to just couples; it can benefit a wide range of individuals, families, and non-family relationships. EFT was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 1980s and is rooted in attachment theory. EFT therapy focuses on helping individuals recognize and understand their emotional responses within relationships, and operates under the belief that strong, secure emotional bonds are essential for healthy relationships, and when these bonds are threatened or disrupted, emotional distress can result (Learn more about EFT here.). In this article, we’ll explore who can benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy and how this evidence-based therapy approach can be a game-changer in the realm of mental health and relationship well-being.

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Couples in Distress can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy

Because EFT was first developed as a treatment for couples, one of the primary groups that can benefit from EFT is couples in distress! If fact, it is currently considered the gold standard of treatment for couples and the only evidenced based treatment currently in existence, meaning that is reaches a certain level of effectiveness in researched clinical trials. Whether a couple is facing communication issues, infidelity, or simply feeling disconnected, EFT provides a structured framework to help them navigate their emotions and rebuild  sense of emotional security. This therapy helps partners communicate their needs, vulnerabilities, and fears in a safe and non-judgmental environment, fostering emotional intimacy and strengthening their relationship.

Individuals with Attachment Issues can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy can also be used with individuals. EFT can be helpful for individuals who struggle with attachment issues. Attachment issues typically have roots in childhood experiences, trauma, or other factors that hinder someone’s ability to form and maintain healthy relationships. Typically attachment issues might present as difficulty getting close to other, feelings anxious in relationships, fear of abandonment, frequently feeling that others don’t care about you, and having an aversion to dependency which can look like too much independence. EFT can help people explore concerns like these, and better understand how their relationship past relates to their ability to form emotional security in relationships. Ultimately the goal is to them develop more secure, fulfilling connections with others.

Those Dealing with Grief and Loss can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Grief and loss can be emotionally overwhelming, especially when it is due to the loss of an important relationship. EFT can offer support during these difficult times. The therapy can help both individuals and couples process their emotions, navigate the grieving process, and find ways to rebuild connections with others after experiencing loss.

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Families in Conflict can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Emotionally Focused Therapy can also be used with entire families in family therapy. Families dealing with issues such as communication breakdowns, estrangement, or unresolved conflicts can find resolution and healing through EFT. This approach helps family members express their emotions, understand each other better, and work toward rebuilding trust and connection. It might involve sessions with the entire family as well as sessions with the most conflictual relationships. 

Individuals with Anxiety or Depression can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy. 

Emotional and relationship struggles often accompany mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. EFT can be integrated into individual therapy, couples therapy, or family therapy, to help clients understand and manage their emotions better. By addressing underlying emotional issues, EFT can complement other therapeutic approaches and contribute to improved mental well-being. For many people relationship concerns and anxiety and depression have a reciprocal relationship where each impacts the other: as their anxiety and depression improve, their relationships improve as well; and as their relationships improve, their anxiety and depression improve as well. 

Anyone Seeking Deeper Self-Understanding can Benefit from Emotionally Focused Therapy

EFT is not just for individuals, couples, and families facing immediate challenges. It can also benefit those who seek deeper self-understanding and personal growth. By exploring their emotions, attachment and relationship patterns, and the impact of past experiences, individuals can gain valuable insights into themselves and their relationships. This self-awareness can lead to more fulfilling personal and relationship experiences.

Emotionally Focused Therapy is a versatile and powerful therapeutic approach that can benefit a wide range of individuals and relationships. Whether you’re a couple facing challenges, an individual grappling with relationship concerns, or a family in conflict, EFT can provide the tools and guidance needed to navigate emotions, improve relationships, and promote overall mental well-being. If you find yourself in a place where emotions are causing distress or difficulty, consider exploring Emotionally Focused Therapy – it might just be the solution you’ve been searching for to build healthier, happier relationships and a more fulfilling life.

Looking to start Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Elizabeth Polinsky Counseling provides online EFT Couples Therapy to those looking to improve their relationships throughout the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. Click the button below to schedule a complimentary consult. 

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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