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What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

EFT is an evidenced based interpersonal, process-oriented, and an emotionally-focused approach that works to develop or rebuild an emotionally secure individual, couple or family system. Attachment views human beings as innately relational, social and wired for intimate bonding with others. Relationships & Community are necessary for survival so when they fail, humans experience intense distress. We see this distress happening globally as individuals and communities express a greater sense of isolation, loneliness, and lack of meaningful relationships leading to chronic states of depression.

Social media and technology have inserted themselves into human relationships and interrupted the natural bonding process of humans. Live, face to face contact with meaningful, vulnerable conversations, and healthy physical touch is diminishing rapidly leading to anxiety and unmet attachment needs.

Sustainable bonds with other humans demand the reassurance of warm inviting voice inflection, gentle eye contact, inviting body language as well as safe nurturing physical touch. When all of this has been reduced to text messaging as the sole means of expression , the necessary ingredients for bonding have been eliminated. Humans of course then feel unsatisfied, uncertain, insecure, hungry for attention, anxious to feel connected and ultimately feeling deeply alone. The result in the world of mental health? Diagnosis of anxiety and depression that are skyrocketing because for many, live human bonding moments have been diminished or become non-existent due to social media and technology.

Over 17 years of practicing in my field, I have begun to notice in the therapy room, that many of my couples no longer sit down at home with their partner to communicate face to face vulnerable important topics. They tell me how they only speak to their spouse or partner via text messaging about some of the most important issues in their lives and wonder why their marriage or partnership is struggling to feel secure.

This is where Emotional Focused Therapy comes to the rescue. It gets humans back to the ingredients needed for sustainable bonding and love.

Most fights are really protests over emotional disconnection and insecurity. Underneath the distress, partners are desperate to know: Are you there for me? Can I count on you?

Sue Johnson a clinical psychologist and author the book “Hold Me Tight” speaks to adult attachment theory and what makes disconnection with our loved one so upsetting. Sue Johnson is the creator of EFT (Emotional Focused Therapy) for couples and a leader in the industry that I admire greatly.

I recommend watching the following videos for an introduction to Sue Johnson and Emotional Focused Therapy.

Sue Johnson Video:

As a Marriage and Family Therapist I practice EFT and highly recommend any of Sue Johnson’s books for any couples seeking resources to deepen their emotional bond, intimacy and security.

So next time you want to text your loved one as a sole means of seeking connection or healing on an important relationship matter, think twice. Connection, healing and love are best cultivated face to face.


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