Emotionally Focused Therapy

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by what’s happening in your relationship? Or maybe like you’re “stuck,” unable to work through problems you’re aware of—even though you truly want to solve them? If so, emotion-focused therapy may be the solution you’ve been searching for.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

You see, while traditional psychotherapy can be very effective, it’s not universally applicable to every single struggle. This is particularly common if you don’t have a strong awareness of your emotions.

But with emotion-focused therapy, you can gain a deep understanding of your emotions, how they affect you, and how they impact your relationship. This, in turn, empowers you to find healthy resolutions for any problem life throws your way.

What is Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)?

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is an approach built on the idea that your emotions are strongly connected to your overall personal identity. Said another way, it’s based on the belief that your emotions have a strong influence over how you make choices and behave.

The guiding principles behind EFT are:

  • Not being aware of your emotions can be detrimental
  • Avoiding or denying your emotions can cause issues in your relationship
  • Ignoring or denying your emotions over time can make it harder for you to process emotions at all
  • Understanding your emotions is helpful because you can use the information to make positive decisions

So, EFT is centered around bringing your awareness to how you feel, and understanding why you feel that way. This knowledge makes it easier for you to resolve conflicts with your partner and make well-informed decisions about things that impact both of you.  

Benefits of Emotion-Focused Therapy

Now you understand what EFT is, but you’re still wondering how it can tangibly improve your relationship. Here are some potential benefits to be aware of:

  • Empathizing with your partner will become easier and more natural  
  • You’ll learn to make sense of your emotions and react appropriately to them
  • You’ll have the skills to work through uncomfortable situations and emotions
  • Your experience of life as a whole is very likely to get deeper and more engaging
  • Multiple studies have proven that EFT can be effective for many relationship issues
  • You’ll feel aligned with your partner, instead of feeling like you’re on opposite teams

How Emotion-Focused Therapy Works

Overall, your therapist’s goal during EFT is to help each of you become aware of and understand your emotions. During a session, you can expect them to:

  • Compassionately listen to your point of view
  • Not pass judgment as you discuss your feelings
  • Ask you for in-depth descriptions of how you’re feeling
  • Ask questions to help you think and reflect on your feelings
  • Encourage your emotions to flow freely without any restrictions
  • Walk you through understanding the reasons behind your emotions
  • Help you regulate these emotions so you don’t become overwhelmed

Goal setting is also a key part of working with a therapist. While you and your partner will set your own specific goals with your counselor, achieving success will include:

  • Increasing your overall awareness of your emotions and how they affect you
  • Improving your ability to regulate your emotions and utilize coping strategies

Is Emotion-Focused Therapy Right for Us?

Emotion-focused therapy is especially effective for couples who deal with any of these issues:

  • Communication problems
  • Infidelity or breaches of trust
  • Conflicts with parenting styles
  • Difficulty with conflict resolution
  • Grief or loss related to a loved one
  • Interfaith or intercultural challenges
  • Attachment issues and past traumas
  • Ongoing general relationship dissatisfaction
  • Feeling distant or emotionally disconnected
  • One or both partners burdened with mental health issues
  • Working through unmet needs and unrealistic expectations
  • Major life transitions like retirement, changing careers, or moving

If any of the above apply to you, there’s a high chance you’d benefit from working with one of our compassionate, supportive, and experienced Boynton Beach therapists.

Get to the True Root of the Issue with Emotion-Focused Therapy

Traditional psychotherapy is indeed one of the oldest types of counseling—dating back thousands of years. But it isn’t the right solution for every single challenge.

For many couples, emotion-focused therapy is a better choice because it lets you get to the true root of an issue. Understanding the emotions connected to any particular problem gives you the power to resolve it instead of just talking about it.

To learn more about how our Boynton Beach counselors utilize EFT or to schedule your first session, contact Hawkins Counseling Center today.

Emotion-Focused Therapy FAQs

How long does emotion-focused therapy typically last?

Typically, emotion-focused therapy lasts for somewhere between eight and 20 total sessions, which can take several weeks, up to a few months. This is because data shows that EFT can be an effective short-term treatment.

However, you aren’t automatically all on your own at the end of the final session. If you and your therapist believe further sessions—or another modality—may be beneficial, you can absolutely continue with further appointments.

Is emotionally focused therapy suitable for couples?

Yes, according to research, EFT is very well-suited to couples therapy—especially since emotional distress is very common in this situation. Whether you two are struggling with poor communication, general conflict, or more serious issues like trauma or infidelity, emotion-focused therapy can be a very effective approach.

Sometimes, simply knowing how we “should” talk to our partner isn’t enough. We each have our own beliefs and personal baggage that influence how we speak, behave, and react.

EFT helps you make sense of how all of this interconnects and how to truly “show up” for your partner.

Can EFT be combined with other therapeutic approaches?

Yes, studies have shown that EFT can be combined with other therapeutic approaches, such as:

Schedule an emotionally focused therapy with Hawkings Counseling Center online or in person at our Boynton Beach office.

When you choose Hawkins Counseling Center in Boynton Beach for counseling, we’ll always work with you to craft a custom approach. Call us today at (561) 316-6553 to learn more about emotion-focused therapy and how it can transform your relationship for the better.

Boynton Beach Counseling Center
Hawkins Counseling Center
1034 Gateway Blvd.
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
Phone: ‪(561) 316-6553‬