Emotionally Focused Therapy

Research based method developed by Dr. Sue Johnson

When marriages fail, it is not increasing conflict that is the cause. It is decreasing affection and emotional responsiveness...”

― Sue Johnson

Playful Couple

What is EFT?

EFT is best known as a cutting edge, tested and proven couple intervention, but it is also used to address individual depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, and to repair family bonds.

Emotionally Focus Therapy for couples is a short term (8 to 20 sessions) form of therapy that focuses on adult relationships and attachment/bonding. The aim of the therapist is to re-organise key emotional responses in order to create a positive shift in partners interactions and to foster the creation of a secure bond between partners.

EFT for couples has been used effectively to help opposite sex and same sex couples in distress, partners dealing with anger, fear, loss of trust, or sense of betrayal in their relationship (for instance after an affair) and couples having trouble coping with their own illness or that of a child.

What to expect?

Therapy will involve discussing specific incidents that may occur in your relationship, but merely as a way to help each of you learn about your emotions and the behaviours that result from those incidents. 

We will be exploring emotions that you each experience at specific times during your relationship.

Strong emotions such as anger, sadness and shame often arise at times when one feels a relationship is at risk or when one feels judged and shamed. You'll learn to identify and better express emotions in order to reconnect with your partner. You'll learn to differentiate between primary and secondary emotions. 

SECONDARY EMOTIONS:  Secondary emotions are the emotions most often expressed during an interaction. Anger is the most common secondary emotion in distressed relationships. Secondary emotions push partners away from each other.

PRIMARY EMOTIONS: Primary emotions are deep, tender, unacknowledged emotions such as shame, fear, sadness and loss. Primary emotions pull people toward each other. When partners see the open expression of vulnerable emotions they often feel tender and caring toward their partner and this can de-escalate angry attacks. Most people are unaware of or hide primary emotions.

You, your partner, and your therapist will look at patterns in the relationship and take steps to create a more secure bond and develop more trust to move the relationship in a healthier, more positive direction.