Emotionally Focused Therapy was developed in the 1980’s by Sue Johnson, Ed.D. and Les Greenberg, Ph.D. It is a short-term (usually 8-20 sessions), collaborative, non-blaming approach to working with couples and families that has been supported by empirical research. The EFT model is based on the belief that all human beings need safe, secure emotional connections in their intimate relationships, and that relationship distress results from a perceived threat to this connection. An EFT therapist helps couples and families stop repetitive negative interactions and find nurturance and support by strengthening their emotional bond.
EFT is one of the most thoroughly researched, clearly delineated, and empirically validated approaches in the field of marraige counseling. Research studies find that after 10-12 sessions, 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery, and 90% of couples show significant improvement. EFT has also been shown to be an effective treatment for couples coping with a variety of stressors, including infidelity, depression, chronic illness, grief and loss, and past trauma. EFT has demonstrated effectiveness across various cultures, with traditional and nontraditional families, and with gay and lesbian couples families.