Couples Counseling Method

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Short Term. Evidence based. Effective. Collaborative.

EFT is a short-term method of couples counseling formulated in the early 1980s by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. It’s structured, highly effective, and consists of key change strategies mapped into three Stages and nine Steps. The EFT standard is 12-20 sessions; more if there is trauma.

At Wellness Counseling Center we find 16 sessions to be optimal for most of our clients.

EFT is evidence based and effective at improving communication. There’s a substantial body of research outlining the effectiveness of EFT showing that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvement.

EFT is effective with many different kinds of couples including those with partners suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD and chronic illness.

Major contraindications for participating in EFT include anything that would block safe engagement between you and your partner — for example, an ongoing affair, active addiction or violence in the relationship.

EFT is collaborative and respectful of clients. It has key moves and moments of change. Our clients know we don’t sit around, talk and sip coffee together for years — EFT moves quickly and has been validated by over 20 years of empirical research.

“Do I matter to you? Will you be there for me when I need you? Can I feel safe and secure enough in this relationship to be my full, authentic self?”

Is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is right for me?

Here are some indicators that your relationship is distressed and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) can help:

  • You feel distant from your partner and want to connect.
  • You are overwhelmed or exhausted from trying to fix.
  • You feel frustrated by not having the kind of relationship you want.
  • You long for more trust, connection and intimacy with your partner.
  • You want the fighting and bickering to stop.
  • You are tired and feel you have little to show for it.
  • You feel unsupported but don’t want to leave the relationship.
  • You want to clarify your purpose, goals and dreams within the relationship.
  • You know your partner cares but you feel invisible and unheard.
  • You want to matter to your partner. You want to know you are important.
  • You want to enjoy life with your partner again.