EFT is a short-term structured approach to couples therapy formulated in the 1980’s by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. This approach is also used with families and individuals. Interventions in EFT integrate a humanistic, experiential approach to restructuring emotional experience and a systemic structural approach to restructuring interactions. A substantial body of research now exists on the effectiveness of EFT. This research shows large treatement effect sizes and stable results over time. It is used with straight and gay, traditional, and non-traditional couples.

EFT is based on the new science of intimate relationships. It offers a clear focus on the elements of relationship distress delineated by recent research on emotion, relationship distress, and relationship satisfaction. EFT offers a map of relationships problems and strengths.

EFT provides a systematic set of strategies and interventions. The change process is mapped into three stages and nine steps. Change events have been outlined and linked to outcome. Process research has examined in-session change events and key interventions.

EFT is accepted as an empirically validated intervention by the American Psychological Association. It has been tested in different settings and by different researchers using rigorous research techniques. It has proven its effectiveness.

EFT has high generalizability in that is has been applied to many different kinds of distressed couples facing many different kinds of problems.

EFT is based on the first coherent and substantially validated theory of adult love—attachment theory. This explanatory framework allows for a coherent understanding of the drama of distress, the goals of therapy and the key moves and moments that define love relationships. EFT is able to address the strength of the bond between partners.

The goals of EFT are:

  • To expand and re-organize key emotional responses
  • To create a positive shift in partners’ interactional positions and patterns
  • To foster the creation of a secure bond between partners.

Material from ICEEFT Participants Manual: Creating Connection Seminars

There is also a Seattle EFT website that offers information about other Seattle area EFT therapists.