What is EFT?
Click on the image above to see and hear Dr. Sue Johnson tell you about her new book Attachment Theory in Practice: EFT with Individuals, Couples, and Families
EFT is a systemic and structured approach to couple therapy formulated in the 1980’s by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. Grounded in attachment theory, this approach recognizes the primacy of emotion in organizing both inner experience and key interactional patterns in primary attachment relationships. Emotion is seen as a powerful agent of change in the therapy, not just as a manifestation of relationship distress. By expanding clients’ emotional experience around core attachment needs and structuring change events to shift the cycle of negative interactions, EFT therapists work to help partners create a more secure bond in their relationship.
Over the last twenty years, a substantial body of research validating the effectiveness of EFT has been developed. Studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% show significant improvement. EFT is an empirically supported treatment which is now being taught in university training programs and treatment centers.
EFT is effective with many different kinds of couples as well as families and individuals, and with a variety of cultural groups. The attachment frame of EFT provides a healing approach to partners in relationships as well as families and individuals suffering from depression, posttraumatic stress, and chronic illness.
Strengths of EFT
EFT is based on a clear understanding of marital distress and adult love. It is supported by Attachment Theory and empirical research.
EFT is collaborative and respectful of clients. Alliance is key because it creates a safety that is healing in itself, is egalitarian, and non-pathologizing.
Change strategies and interventions are specific and address recurring patterns of negative interaction as well as the underlying emotions that drive these patterns.
Stance on Diversity
We aim to cultivate a climate of inclusion, an environment where all can feel safe, valued, cared for, and given an opportunity to form meaningful connections with each other. In all facets of our work we strive to embody what we hope to see in the world ‐ a just, loving humanity and community in which people are free to be themselves fully ‐ where people can embrace their most basic universal human attachment needs without fear of persecution or marginalization as a result of religion, race, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, class, mental health, physical character or disability. These values are inherent in the attachment science and humanistic approach to intervention that all our work is based on.
Specifically, humanistic approaches such as EFT are collaborative and respectful. We create a safe place for people and treat them as persons not problems or types. Our approach is non‐pathologizing in practice. Our values are inclusive and egalitarian while viewing human connection as sacred ‐ something to be honored and cultivated. Our scientific and theoretical base outlines key universals, emotion and attachment, while respecting individual differences.