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Austin Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

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About EFT 

Emotionally Focused Therapy is a therapy modality developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. Based on attachment theory, EFT helps couples understand how adult love and adult relationships function and flourish.

EFT views distress in a relationship as the result of a threat or rupture of the emotional bond or “connection” between partners. When this occurs, couples are left with coping mechanisms that throw them into a negative cycle or “dance” that highjacks the relationship and results emotional distance between the couple.

Negative cycles often result in expressions of frustration, resentment, criticism and anger.
EFT helps couples identify and understand the choreography of the negative cycle that drives them apart and blocks the free flow of love, understanding and empathy between them.

Once the “cycle” is clearly mapped out and understood, EFT therapists help couples correctly identify each other’s emotional cues, safely and effectively express their needs, and ultimately discover a new way of reinforcing and strengthening the kind of secure emotional bond we all long for.

Strengths of EFT 

- EFT is based on a clear understanding of relational distress and adult love. It is supported by Attachment Theory and empirical research.

- EFT is collaborative and respectful of clients. Alliance is key because it creates a safety that is healing in itself, is egalitarian, and non-pathologizing.

- Change strategies and interventions are specific and address recurring patterns of negative interaction as well as the underlying emotions that drive these patterns. 20

Goals in EFT


- To move from relational distress to a more secure bond between partners.

- To expand and re-organize key emotional responses—the music of the attachment dance.

-To facilitate a shift in partners’ interactional positions so that they can move toward increased accessibility, responsiveness, and safe engagement with each other.

Visit the ICEEFT website for more information

Austin Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

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