Regular arguments with loved ones often worsen anxiety and depression. These conflicts can also escalate social worries and create difficulties in your professional life. Fortunately, online Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) offers a convenient way to address these relationship issues. Studies show that EFT significantly improves marital intimacy and harmony, helping couples heal in an effective, enduring, and compelling way.
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The article will explore various EFT techniques, highlighting the advantages of choosing a therapist with emotionally focused therapy training. It will discuss how these techniques can effectively address and resolve relationship distress, leading to lasting positive changes.
What is Offered by Emotionally-focused Therapy?
EFT is a therapeutic approach tailored for individuals, couples, and families. The duration of therapy varies but typically spans 8 to 20 sessions, based on the specific needs of the patients.
Additionally, EFT integrates aspects of experiential therapy, which include:
- Systems Theory in EFT: This theory aids therapists in comprehending the interaction dynamics within a relationship. It examines how the actions of one partner elicit responses in the other, leading to a continuous cycle of reactions. By understanding this, therapists can better address the patterns that emerge in relationships.
- Humanistic Experiential Perspective in EFT: In this approach, therapists do not seek to blame experiences within a relationship. Instead, they empathetically engage with clients, striving to understand the emotional motivations behind behaviors.
- Attachment Theory in EFT: Attachment theory is central to EFT. It helps therapists explore the attachment bonds between individuals, understanding how these connections provide comfort, security, and a defense against stress. This approach asses the impact of attachments on the individual’s emotional well-being and relationship health.
- Incorporating Gottman’s Work in EFT: Therapists integrate principles from Gottman’s research on healthy versus unhealthy relationships. They use this framework to identify and reduce behaviors that hint at relationship breakdown. The focus is on fostering positive communication and reducing harmful interactions.
What Does The Process of EFT Look Like?
The goal of EFT is to assist individuals in confronting attachment-related insecurities and enhancing their interactions with others. EFT therapy online is structured into three distinct stages, encompassing a total of nine steps.
For the initial phase, individuals, couples, or families usually deal with negative interactions and might have strong opinions about the causes and solutions of their issues.
The role of the EFT therapist here is to guide clients away from this distressing cycle. They achieve this by helping clients process their primary concerns and identify the negative behavioral patterns contributing to these issues.
2. Restructuring Patterns:
In this stage, EFT focuses on the emotions underlying conflicts. Therapists encourage clients to delve deeper into their emotions.
Additionally, they are guided to express these feelings and practice acceptance and compassion towards themselves, their partners, or family members. This stage is crucial for understanding and resolving the emotional roots of conflict.
3. Integrate and Consolidate:
The final stage of EFT is integration and consolidation. Here, clients apply new solutions to old problems and incorporate their learnings and skills into their personal identity and relationships.
This phase is about revising the progress made and ensuring that clients can maintain and continue their positive changes beyond therapy sessions.
Who Can Benefit From EFT?
EFT is an evidence-based therapeutic approach, backed by research for its effectiveness. Studies have shown that approximately 70% of couples experience significant recovery after undergoing just 8-12 sessions of EFT.
Importantly, the benefits of EFT are not confined to couples alone. This therapy can also be applied to improve other types of relationships, offering a broad scope of potential benefits:
EFT for Individuals:
EFT for individuals is useful for those seeking a deeper understanding of their personal emotional experiences. This therapy is especially useful in learning to confront and handle challenging emotions. It focuses on personal emotional development, equipping individuals with the skills needed to be emotionally present and supportive in their relationships.
EFT for Couples:
This therapy is beneficial for couples struggling with the expression and understanding of emotions. EFT aims to enhance communication skills and manage relationship conflicts.
EFT for Families:
EFT for families centers on recognizing and respecting each family member’s unique emotional experiences, fostering a safe and inclusive environment. It helps all family members understand the critical role emotions play in relationships.
They also learn the importance of effectively processing these emotions for the well-being of the entire family. This approach is geared towards building a more empathetic and emotionally aware family unit.
Tips on Getting The Most Out of Emotionally-Focused Therapy
While selecting a well-trained therapist is a crucial part of the EFT, there are also steps you can take to maximize the benefits of the therapy.
Here are some key tips to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of online Emotionally-Focused Therapy:
- Stay Consistent
Regular attendance is key in EFT. Some may consider bi-weekly or monthly sessions to save time or money, but this approach can actually reduce the therapy’s effectiveness and prolong the process. Consistent, weekly sessions are essential for achieving the best results, as they provide continuous care and attention.
- Ask Questions
It’s important to communicate openly with your therapist. If you have any concerns or questions, bring them up promptly. EFT can be challenging and may evoke unexpected emotions. By sharing these feelings and thoughts with your therapist, you enable them to make more accurate assessments.
- Give Yourself Time
EFT may involve trying new and unfamiliar approaches. Therapists often encourage clients to communicate directly with each other in new ways, possibly sharing thoughts and feelings they haven’t expressed before. This direct interaction, guided by the therapist, is a distinctive aspect of EFT. Embracing these exercises can greatly enhance the therapy’s effectiveness.
- Don’t Quit
EFT is a structured process with defined steps and stages. It takes time to progress through these stages, and each stage is important for the therapy’s overall success. It’s essential to commit to the entire process and see it through to the end.
Signs That Online EFT Therapy is Working
During the course of EFT, there are specific milestones or change points that therapists aim to achieve with their clients. Recognizing these signs can indicate that the therapy is making a positive impact:
- Identifying Negative Cycles: A primary change occurs when clients begin to recognize and articulate the negative cycles and patterns in their relationship.
- Engagement of the Withdrawn Partner: Another change point is noted when the partner who typically withdraws during conflicts starts to engage more actively in the sessions.
- Expression from the More Vocal Partner: Another major shift is observed when the partner who is often perceived as hostile in conflicts begins to express their own needs and vulnerabilities.
- Openness About Needs and Fears: The ultimate change in EFT is marked by both partners becoming more open and honest about their needs and fears. This level of transparency fosters a stronger, more secure bond between them.