EFT -- Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples
EFFT -- Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
EFIT -- Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy
Emotionally Focused Therapy is based on how we as human beings evolved. Humans, in our deepest recesses, evolved in coordinated connection to other humans. We have sophisticated mirror neurons and other sensory apparatus that have us intricately wired and aware of our primary need for one another to survive. It is not hyperbole to suggest that connection to others is our primary existential need from birth on. Dr. Johnson writes “ I suddenly realized that we had really reached a pivotal moment; all our studies, stories, and the science had come together, and we were in the midst of a revolution — a new way of truly understanding romantic love. Finally we can grasp the laws of love — and they make sense! We have cracked the code of love and have found the pathway to the relationships we long for. You can create a fulfilling, safe-haven relationship, restoring the romantic love bond.” EFT is based on a 30 year research effort mainly by Dr. Sue Johnson with rigorous longitudinal empirically validated studies that have shown that 70-75% of couples who go through EFT recover from distress and are happy in their relationships. The results appear lasting, even with couples who are at high risk for divorce. There are other researchers who study attachment, and even other forms of treatment, however in my experience Dr. Johnson’s approach is the most effective and useful.
So what is love then? We now know: “Love is, in actuality, the pinnacle of evolution, the most compelling survival mechanism of the human species. Not because it induces us to mate and reproduce, We do manage to mate without love. But because love drives us to bond emotionally with a precious few others who offer us safe haven from the storms of life. Love is our bulwark, designed to provide emotional protection so we can cope with the up and downs of existence. The drive to emotionally attach - to find someone to who we can turn and say “Hold MeTight” - is wired into our genes and our bodies……We need emotional attachments with a few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy —to survive.” (Johnson, 2008, p. 150)
EFT in all forms for couples, individuals, or families, focuses on our primary need for each other. You will begin to understand and heal your need for safe haven connection and understand your distress in a way to promote healing and wholeness. In couples therapy you will learn how your love goes awry, and how to bring your selves back together. You will understand why your love is having trouble, where the roots of this lay, and how to bring yourself and your partner back in connection. You can heal your attachment wounds and the replicated breaks throughout your life, and you can do this together. The distress you have been feeling will begin to make sense, you will learn to comfort rather than escalate your disconnections.
I have made it a focus of my life and career to understand and heal myself and others. I have studied all the great therapies, extensively. EFT is in a league all to itself for me. It represents our most basic human needs and will, I believe, change the face of my profession. Many new therapies take the pathology out of our understanding of human suffering, but I believe EFT takes this even further by showing that almost all human distress makes sense and is healable. We are designed to connect and I believe we are designed in every way to heal. I feel grateful in my lifetime to be able to benefit from EFT and to help others have the loves of their lives.