EFT is a unique and highly effective form of therapy that helps people understand and improve their emotional connection with themselves and others. Developed in the 1980s, EFT is based on the principle that our emotions are central to our experiences and relationships. It suggests that we are naturally designed to have a secure sense of who we are and a sense of self we can trust and rely on. This solid base allows for strong, supportive bonds with others, and when these bonds are secure, we tend to be happier and healthier.
One of the great things about EFT is its versatility. While it’s widely recognized for helping couples strengthen their relationships (which is known as Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy or EFCT), it’s also extremely beneficial for individuals and families. For individuals, EFT (known as EFIT) can be particularly helpful in dealing with feelings of depression, anxiety, or the emotional aftermath of traumatic events. For families, EFT (EFFT) is used to deepen connections and repair strained relationships, making it an excellent choice for families looking to improve their dynamic.
What makes EFT stand out is its focus on emotions and how we manage and use them. This approach helps people understand their feelings and the feelings of those around them, leading to healthier and more fulfilling relationships. It’s not just about finding quick fixes; it’s about getting to the heart of the matter and creating lasting change.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) We can feel emotionally off balance when we do not feel important or connected to the most valuable person in our life, our intimate partner. Our ability to effectively communicate or follow "rules of fighting fair" go out the window. We no longer care about the rules. We want to be heard and we are in fight or flight mode.
EFCT aims to help couples understand what throws them off balance, identify the underlying issues that are causing distress, create a sense of safety for both partners to be able to turn to one another from a vulnerable place and restore a sense of secure connection and intimacy.
The EFCT therapist looks at the dance between partners, as well as the internal struggle and pain of each partner. There is no bad guy in the dance and the therapist does not assign blame. When we understand the underlying pain, we can then understand the behaviors that are keeping the negative dance going and keeping partners distanced and disconnected from one another.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapists help slow the dance down so the couple can examine the negative cycle together and begin the process of stopping the cycle, beginning to listen and understand one another on a deeper level. Research has consistently shown that this process of change creates deeper and more meaningful connection. EFCT offers change that is sustainable long-term.
Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT)
EFIT is a groundbreaking therapeutic model that facilitates emotional processing and the creation of secure relationships with self and others. Originating from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, EFIT adapts these principles for individual therapy, offering a structured approach to help individuals address various challenges including anxiety, depression, trauma and relationship problems. EFIT’s unique approach empowers mental health professionals to help their clients transform restrictive emotional patterns, foster internal coherence, and build deep resilience. In other words, EFIT allows them to be fit to flourish in life and in love.
EFIT is an attachment science-based approach to individual therapy that offers ways to reshape and make sense of inner experience and relational interventions focused on reshaping patterns of engagement with significant others and the individual as a younger self. Emotion is given precedence across treatment modalities given its powerful role in structuring both inner experience and motivation and key interactional patterns in relationships. Emotion links and organizes core experience and interaction. EFIT offers corrective experiences that positively impact models of self and other and shape stable, lasting change. It offers transformative moments where vulnerability is encountered with balance and difficult moments befriended EFIT enables clients to move into the openness, responsiveness and full engagement that characterises secure attachment with others and enables clients to shape a coherent sense of a competent self that can deal with existential life issues and become a fully alive human being.
Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT)
EFFT extends the principles of Emotionally Focused Therapy to mend and fortify familial bonds. The core objective is to cultivate secure family patterns, where attachment, caregiving responses, and emotional bonds are effective. EFFT centralizes on stabilizing negative interaction patterns, restructuring parent-child interactions, and consolidating the felt security through new connection patterns. Following attachment science, it guides families to experience swift progress as members become more responsive and engaged, uncovering and addressing previously unrecognized attachment-related emotions and needs, thus fostering individual growth and intergenerational relationship enhancement. The principle goal of EFFT is to re-establish more secure family patterns where attachment and caregiving responses are effective and emotional bonds are repaired. These resources inform a network of security that provides the flexibility and closeness necessary for families to promote individual growth and meaningful relationships across generations.
The EFT process of change in EFFT focuses on stabilizing a family’s negative interaction pattern, restructuring parent and child interactions, and consolidating the felt security gained through these new patterns of connection. Following principles of attachment science, the EFFT therapist guides the family to new patterns of parental availability, responsiveness and coherent attachment communications as they face developmental change and life challenges. In EFFT, the focus is on addressing blocks in parental caregiving responses and understanding the child or adolescent’s behavior in terms of attachment needs or fears. These blocks result from constrained, stuck responses to misattunement and injuries in family relationships. The EFFT therapist tracks the generational influences impacting these blocks and works through rigid patterns that disrupt attachment communication between parents, siblings and between parent and child. Work with parents focuses on the building of a coherent parenting team. The process of EFFT often moves quickly as family members become more responsive, accessible, and engaged with previously unacknowledged attachment-related emotions and needs. In EFFT the focus is on accessing and expanding awareness of unacknowledged feelings associated with the family’s negative pattern. Reframing family distress and child problems within relation blocks reinforcing this distress.Promoting awareness and access to underlying caregiving intentions and disowned attachment related needs.Facilitating the sharing of unmet attachment needs and effective caregiving responses.
It is in the shelter of each other that people live. Irish proverb
EFT Knoxville is an organization of clinical therapists dedicated to providing compassionate, quality therapeutic care for individuals, couples and families, using the evidence-based model of Emotionally Focused Therapy.
In addition to helping people heal bonds within their most important relationships, EFT Knoxville serves to be the premier resource for EFT training and support for therapists in our East Tennessee community. Through networking, peer groups, training, externships and supervision services, our goal is to offer resources to help clinicians grow in their practice of Emotionally Focused Therapy.
It is through connection that we grow. Our mission is to connect clients with EFT trained clinicians and connect clinicians with EFT resources and support.