Emotionally Focused Therapy in San Diego

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term, research based counseling working with couples.  The therapy approach has successfully proven to have long-term lasting results for couples. The EFT focuses on creating a secure relationship by helping couples learn how to stop old communication patterns, decrease their reactivity (either quickly snapping or shutting down), and create an emotionally safe relationship. We quickly and effectively find the cause of the problem and heal it, rather than simply patching things over with Band-Aids.

Our experienced team can help you find the perfect customized match for your relationship needs.

EFT helps couples to be more emotionally responsive, available, and accessible to one another through communicating and less reactivity. Emotionally Focused Therapy also focuses on repairing the relationship and healing old wounds.  Each therapist has proficient experience as well as a strong educational foundation, but you will have the ability to choose which counselor best suits your needs. Our goal is to accelerate your personal and relationship growth through the use of Emotion Focused Therapy for couples. Other therapies we use for helping couples reach their goals include Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) for couples. You can check out our awesome team of therapists here!

EFT teaches you how to identify and communicate underlying emotions

Emotionally Focused Therapy – often called simply EFT – is a form of therapy that strives to help couples identify the underlying emotions that are guiding their relationship. The EFT approach was first developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s, and it continues to become one of the most popular and effective ways to improve relationships. Through EFT, we help couples become experts in their relationship in a new way – improving communication and boosting connection. The old communication patterns can get couples stuck, and often don’t work as effectively. Through EFT, the couple will learn how to identify and recognize the old patterns, stop the cycle, and jump into the new communication styles. Your therapist will help you find new ways to express how you feel and learn how to comfort one another when facing a difficult issue.

All humans are designed to turn towards each other in times of distress, but when a negative cycle emerges in a relationship, one partner may not be available to tend to the needs of the other. EFT aims to help couples figure out how to improve their communication cycle through the acknowledgement and communication of honest emotions. Working with an EFT therapist will help you really understand your needs in the relationship and help you both respond to each other’s needs. You will learn about the moments when you hurt each other in your dance and how you can keep your emotional balance in those moments. In counseling, you will learn how to reach for your partner and express your softer feelings and needs in a way that helps your partner respond to you – so you can build a secure lasting bond.

EFT assumes that all adult attachment relationships seek the same mutual comfort and love that you require from your parents when you’re a child. EFT can help bring to light why couples continue to foster an attachment to each other even when their relationship is in distress or hurt feelings are involved, and figure out a way to improve those attachments.

Emotionally Focused Therapy is helpful in a variety of situations; any time two partners are involved in arguments about topics like money or jealousy, the underlying cause is often the result of one person believing that his or her feelings are ignored. As a result, anxiety and anger can begin to rise to the surface, and arguments or avoidance may show up. EFT gets to the bottom of why a couple is experiencing these feelings and works to make each partner feel safe in expressing his or her emotions – the ultimate goal of EFT is to create a relationship that serves as a safe haven.

Applying the EFT technique in the counseling session, you will be led through a nine-step process, which includes identifying negative patterns in the relationship, discovering unacknowledged feelings that inform your interactions, redefining problems in terms of your underlying feelings, and accepting your partner’s experience in the relationship.

At the end of the day, EFT focuses on reconnecting you and your partner, giving you the tools necessary to ask for what you need in the relationship. You might think of it as rewiring the way you and your partner respond to one another. EFT helps you establish a safe space where both people can learn to trust that their partner is available to hear what they’re feeling and respond in a way that is constructive and loving, even if there is a disagreement.

Who better to hear about Emotionally Focused Therapy than the Sue Johnson, the founder herself!

Watch this video about Emotionally Focused Therapy by the founder Sue Johnson. This will help you understand the process of the EFT counseling.