• Cassandre Quan

WHAT IS - Emotion Focused Therapy?

There are a number of different therapy models that support clients in reaching their goals. We would like to inform you of a few models that our therapists at Relationship Matters Therapy Centre are trained in. Today, we are diving into Emotion Focused Therapy, also known as EFT. Yes, it is exactly as it sounds - EFT recognizes the importance of emotions and places them front and centre in therapy!


EFT is a very structured type of therapy that helps individuals and couples regulate their emotions and improve safety and security in their relationships. EFT therapy is grounded in attachment style theory which is significantly helpful for relational therapy. You can learn more about attachment styles in one of our past blogs. Benefits of EFT for clients include: improved ability to regulate emotions, development of stronger bonds with others, and deeper understanding of how emotions are related to thought and behaviours.


EFT techniques are diverse and used to treat a number of presenting concerns. To name a few, EFT is helpful for clients who have experienced anxiety, childhood abuse/neglect, depression, interpersonal issues, infidelity and PTSD. EFT is not only effective for treating individuals but is also used often in couples/relational therapy.


How does Emotion Focused Therapy support clients with relationship issues?

According to the very well-known Canadian psychologist, Dr. Greenberg, EFT is based on the idea that emotions are connected to human needs and working through them can help individuals change distressed emotional states and improve their interpersonal relationships.


Greenberg pointed out that EFT is based on three empirically supported therapeutic principles. The three principles together form a guide to working effectively with emotions.


These three principles are (1) increasing your awareness of your emotions, (2) enhancing your emotion regulation, (3) and transforming your emotions. These principles then connect us back to the foundation of EFT. The foundation consists of three stages in EFT: De-escalation, Restructuring, and Consolidation.


In the first stage of EFT, De-escalation, the client(s) identify and understand how their negative interactions create a cycle of distress.

Through increased awareness of their, the client(s) then moves to the next stage, Restructuring, where they identify the attachment styles that are leading to negative emotions. This is when client(s) voice their wants, needs, and deep emotions to one another. The client(s) then practice expressing acceptance and compassion for the other person’s needs and emotions!

In the last stage, Consolidation and integration are key parts. This is when the therapist helps client(s) with their communication styles by allowing them to have previous discussions about past problems and then assists them in creating new solutions. These moments of each session are key for growth!

Seeking Help

EFT is a very strong and clinically proven type of therapy for individuals and couples. If any of this information resonates with you, try giving EFT a shot. We have many therapists trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy at RMTC, click here to book an appointment or free consultations at Relationships Matters Therapy Centre.