Developed by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 80’s, EFT has been acknowledged as one of the most thoroughly researched, clearly delineated, and empirically validated approaches in the field of couple therapy.
Research studies find that after 12-20 sessions, 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery, and 90% of couples show significant improvement. EFT has been shown to be an effective approach for couples coping with relational distress, infidelity, depression, chronic illness, grief and loss, and past trauma, across various cultures, with traditional and nontraditional families, and with gay and lesbian relationships.
When a relationship is in distress we tend to start a habitual ‘dance’ which Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, calls the Demon Dialogues. One person starts complaining and criticising and gets angry and the other starts defending and stonewalling. The couple get caught up in this negative dance which takes on a life of its own as it gains momentum, causing the partners to view each other as enemies.
EFT helps the partners identify their habitual patterns of blame and distancing and where the misunderstandings are.
They begin to appreciate their own and their partner’s vulnerability and to be able to speak a deeper truth of what they are feeling and needing in the relationship. EFT shows couples that love comes from feeling that your partner is emotionally available to you, that what is important can be shared and received and that you are special and important to them.