I have been trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) by its founder Dr. Leslie Greenberg. EFT is an evidence-based humanistic-experiential psychotherapy approach that views emotions as centrally important in human functioning and therapeutic change. EFT involves a therapeutic style that combines both following and guiding the client’s experiential process, emphasizing the importance of both relationship and intervention skills. It views emotion as foundational to human experience while recognizing the importance of meaning making, and views emotion and cognition as inextricably intertwined.
EFT proposes that emotions themselves have an innately adaptive potential that if activated can help clients change problematic emotional states or unwanted self-experiences.
EFT works on the basic principle that to change, people cannot leave a place until they have arrived. Clients therefore need to reclaim disowned experience before they can be changed by or change that experience. In this process, it is not that people simply discover things they did not know but rather that they become aware of and experience aspects of themselves they have not consciously felt or may have previously disclaimed, dismissed, or pushed away.
With the help of the therapist’s empathic understanding and the use of experiential methods, clients learn how to make healthy contact with feelings, memories, thoughts, and physical sensations that have been ignored or feared and avoided. By accessing adaptive emotions such as healthy grief, empowering anger, and compassion, people are able to use these as resources to transform maladaptive emotions such as fear, sadness of abandonment and shame of inadequacy that have developed from past negative learning or traumatic experiences.
EFT has been effective in treatment of the following disorders and or difficulties:
- Anxiety Disorders (Panic, Agoraphobia, & Social Anxiety)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Eating Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
- Low Self-Esteem