Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)

Professionals helping people recover and thrive

Life is a process of ups and downs and during these down phases everything seems too much to cope with. Our professional therapists are highly skilled and experienced in assisting and supporting you during these difficult, and often challenging times.

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), also known as Emotionally Focused Therapy, is informed by therapeutic approaches such as Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy and neuroscience. EFT is based on the notion that our emotions act as an internal compass, guiding our actions/behaviors, informing us about our needs and desires, helps us to grow into emotionally mature adults, which further assists us in our relationships; both personally and professionally.

Our emotions have generally been labelled at negative or positive emotions, when in fact, all our emotions are okay, as they are important messengers. For example, the emotion of anger is our protective emotion. Anger is neither good nor bad, it just is. However, it is what we do with this emotion that can become either destructive or protective.

When we turn anger inwards, onto ourselves, it can become destructive and present itself in depression, self-harm and suicidality. Research suggests 50% of a depression experience is anger turned inwards. Anger can be experienced as a secondary emotion, as is masks other primary emotions such as sadness, fear, shame and guilt. Instead of being safe enough to express the primary emotions, we get angry (trying to protect our vulnerability). When we use anger instrumentally, it is often to control others for our own gain. This expression of anger does not enhance any of our relationships; the other person/s could become bitter, resentful and distance themselves from us, and we do not get the support we need.

EFT teaches us to understand, and know our own emotional world, to pay attention to our bodily sensations, to express our emotions in a way which enhances our emotional well-being, and our personal and professional relationships.
In counselling, we have the opportunity to learn how to:

  Pay attention to our body experience

   Focus on the experience in the present

  Experience our feelings and emotions

  Describing feeling and emotions in words

  Owning emotions such as fear and unworthiness

  Understanding our emotions such as anger, sadness

  Communicating our needs and wants

As human beings, our emotions are crucial to our survival, communication and problem solving. Expressing emotion in ways that are appropriate to context is a life skill we are rarely taught.

Further reading:

Greenberg, L.S. (2002). Emotion-Focused Therapy. USA: American Psychological Association.