The Philadelphia Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (PCEFT) is a community of psychologists, marriage & family therapists, social workers, and counselors with training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
We are affiliated with the International Centre for Effectiveness in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and the work of Dr. Sue Johnson.
Our purpose is twofold:
- To offer both beginning and advanced education, training and supervision in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to therapists nationwide
- To educate couples about Emotionally Focused Therapy and help couples find a marriage counselor or couple’s therapist through our Find a Therapist Directory. We also offer Couples Retreats to strengthen relationships.
Relationship Renewal & Healing with Emotionally Focused Therapy
Welcome to your portal for learning about Emotionally Focused Therapy, the most successful approach to helping couples move their relationship from distress and discord to renewed emotional and physical connection. Couples around the world are learning how to break hurtful patterns of arguing and disconnection and to become close again even after years of distance. They are finding a path to rediscover the vibrancy and joy that originally drew them together. This scientifically validated approach eliminates the concerns that may have caused couples to delay or avoid seeking professional help for their relationship.
For couples, you’ll find information here to help you understand the therapy process and to select a therapist to work with you and your partner.
For therapists, we welcome you to learn how EFT can improve and enhance your work with couples. If you choose to become trained in EFT, you will be able to offer couples a scientifically validated approach to helping them reconnect, resolve conflicts, heal from betrayals, and model for their children a relationship of trust and love.
The Science Behind Emotionally Focused Therapy
The powerful transformations that can occur in EFT have a strong scientific basis — with the principles of attachment theory and neuroscience woven into the model. Couples are guided to understand that the negative emotions they are now experiencing are related to the attachment bond they formed when they first met and fell in love. This powerful connection to one special person drew them close, but when this bond feels shaky, it also can be a source of friction and pain. When this friction occurs repeatedly, a couple can move into a downward spiral of increasing distress. With EFT, couples learn to better understand and manage strong emotions, and then communicate them in ways that allow their partner to hear, understand, and respond supportively.
Often, couples say, “We just need to learn to communicate!”
But here’s why EFT is such an effective and a powerful opportunity for relationship renewal: We go beyond teaching couples how to communicate. We help couples build a new empathy and appreciation for their partner through deeper sharing and emotional engagement. Partners gain new insight into how their relationship unraveled and begin to see each other in a new light. Couples learn to repair misunderstandings and, yes, to engage in the type of communication that can lead to lasting change. Couples learn to express their wants and needs from their hearts and to be truly heard and deeply understood by each other — perhaps for the first time in their lives together.
Not the Easiest World for Couples
Pressures on couples today are perhaps greater than ever. We expect our partner to be our friend, lover, confidant, co-parent, and financial contributor. Couples can feel pulled in many directions. Two-career households mean less time for, well, just about everything. Work and careers can contribute to greater stress and greater time commitments to stay current with required skills and training. Adding children to the mix complicates things even further as the competing demands increase. And, let’s not forget about the needs of extended family and aging parents.
But, Here’s Good News for Your Relationship
Emotionally Focused Therapy has proven effective for couples at all phases of their relationship, regardless of their ages or stages in life. EFT also helps couples coping with depression, chronic illness, grief, and past trauma. With EFT being implemented around the world, it has also proven effective across cultures, with both traditional and nontraditional families, with diverse racial and ethnic groups, and with gay, lesbian, and gender-nonconforming couples.
EFT therapists are trained to help couples:
- In premarital counseling, to move toward marriage with better resources to weather “for better or for worse.”
- Reduce “endless arguing” and learn to collaboratively resolve important issues or differences.
- Navigate through challenging transitions, including arrival of children, blending families, empty nest, and retirement.
- Revive emotional and physical closeness, even after years of distance.
- Recover from the crisis of infidelity and other betrayals, including virtual and emotional affairs.
Take the First Step . . .
We invite you to learn more!
For couples, you can explore how EFT can transform your relationship from pain and anger to understanding and reconnection [link].
For therapists, you can begin your journey to providing couples who seek your professional assistance with the most successful, research-validated interventions.