I have been trained in Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) by its founder Dr. Sue Johnson. EFIT is an attachment-based approach to individual therapy that, like the other EFT interventions, EFCT for couples and EFFT for families, offers an integration of humanistic experiential interventions focused on reshaping intrapsychic experience and systemic interventions focused on changing patterns of engagement with significant others. Emotion is given precedence given its powerful role in structuring both inner experience and motivation and key interactional patterns in relationships. Emotion links and organizes core experience and interaction.
EFT is best known as a cutting-edge couple intervention but has always, from its inception, been used in clinical practice with individuals and with families, especially with clients dealing with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The skills taught in EFT for couples are considered pivotal in that this form of EFT combines working, with individuals and with dyads. The most obvious way that EFIT differs from modalities where attachment figures are present in therapy is that corrective dialogues focus on a client’s interaction with the therapist, or with representations of attachment figures, or aspects of self. It is important to note that from a humanistic attachment perspective the self is a process of constant construction which takes place in and is shaped by interactions with key others.
In all modalities EFT addresses self and system – it is inherently RELATIONAL.
The goals of EFIT are:
- To offer corrective emotional experiences that positively impact models of self and other and shape stable, lasting change.
- To offer transformative moments where vulnerability, that is “frightening, alien and unacceptable emotion,” is encountered with balance.
- To enable clients to move into the accessibility/openness, responsiveness and full engagement that characterizes secure attachment with others.
- To enable clients to shape an expanded, coherent, and competent self that can deal with existential life issues and become a fully alive human being.