Emotion Focused Therapy

I’m back in my hometown (Dallas FortWorth) this week to attend a training seminar on EFT, or Emotion Focused Therapy. With a growing base of research and population of practitioners all over the world, EFT is fast becoming a preferred methodology for working with relationships.

EFT functions on the premise that human emotions are connected to human needs, and honors emotions as functional and adaptive to the nature of change in a relationship, rather than problematic or pathological. It is generally short term in nature (less than 20 sessions), and as its name indicates, stays strongly focused on eliciting and processing strictly the emotional experiences of the partners.

EFT is often experiential, such as prompting clients to speak to one another, redirect their thoughts through feeling language, and role playing appropriate ways to elicit feeling responses from one another. It has roots in attachment theory, and through emotions addresses the negative attachments cycles that emerge from our family of origin experiences and unmet needs, i.e. the pursuer-withdrawer dynamic.

My main goal in attending this training is to broaden my practice, and to bring to bear strong empirically supported methodologies to better serve my clients. Thus far, the training has jumped between increasing knowledge base and increasing personal vulnerability. As most therapists know, to guide others to new understandings we often have to go there ourselves first, and this training is fostering that.

Given that this is an initial training, I’ll have to decide toward the end whether to pursue a full certification in EFT. Based on the first day, I am feeling optimistic about the outcomes I can help others achieve through folding this technology into my practice.

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