What is EFT?

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, or EFT, is based on more than 50 years of research into the science of relationships and bonding. That’s a fancy way of saying that scientists have studied the ways in which people interact with one another, specifically the way we interact in intimate relationships.

EFT provides me with a map to what matters in intimate relationships and how they work. It’s no longer a guessing game; it’s a science. We have successfully defined and quantified what makes relationships last.

Through the use of EFT, I’m able to help couples identify what’s going wrong in their relationships and guide them to putting them right again.

Proven to Work

Not only is EFT based on more than 50 years of research- it has been proven in more than 16 studies to be a highly effective method for working with couples. 90% of couples who undergo EFT report improvement in their relationships.

EFT helps couples form a secure bond with one another, and that bond can last a lifetime.


It’s Not About Learning to Fight Better

Many therapists talk about learning communication skills or learning to compromise better with a loved one. This can be effective for some couples, but its benefits tend to be shortlived. 

The goal of EFT is not just to change the way couples fight, make them better able to negotiate about household chores, or even feel a little more satisfied with each other. The goal of EFT is to create a more secure emotional bond. By doing so we can create satisfaction, intimacy, and trust.

Once a couple has established a secure emotional bond, they are naturally better able to manage conflict and stress. When you are deeply connected with your partner on an emotional level, the rest comes naturally.

Sometimes couples therapists focus on the symptoms, but EFT gets to the root of the problem and helps couples break with the negative patterns that have gotten them into the rut.

Change Happens in the Present, in the Relationship

While I may assign homework from time to time, the bulk of the work in your relationship happens in the office. EFT is experiential- it focuses on the present moment. Even if we are talking about something that happened in the past, our focus is on the effects this has on you and your partner in the present.

We’re going to take the elevator way down into your emotional core. It may get a little uncomfortable at times, but that’s where real change occurs.

Often times one partner appears to be quick to anger, lashing out at the other over minor transgressions. What we discover is that this anger is born out of fear- the fear of loss or rejection. What appears to be a hostile adversary is really someone who is longing for a connection- trying so hard to get a reaction from their partner.

Once we identify this negative pattern, we can change the way partners relate to one another. We can change the way they dance. It’s a wonderful transformation to behold.

Creating a Safe Space

EFT therapists ensure that the therapy room as well as the relationship itself offers a safe space for open, honest communication. This is true for all couples but especially those who are dealing with distrust in their relationship stemming from an affair or those with previous relationship trauma.

Since this is paramount to the work that I do with couples, I do not work with couples in which one partner is actively participating in an affair or those with current physical or emotional abuse. In these cases, it is impossible to forge the safety necessary to create an emotional bond. Asking someone who is on the receiving end of these issues to become vulnerable with their partner is not only cruel but unethical.

Making Sense of What’s Going On

Many of the individuals that I see, primarily men, are almost completely shut off from their emotions. Due to past hurts and failures on another’s part (not necessarily that of their current partner) to respond appropriately to their needs, they have shut down and often avoid emotions (other than anger).

Expressing emotions is like learning a new language to many men as they truly lack the vocabulary necessary to adequately express themselves. By joining with the couple in the moment, I am able to increase each partner’s awareness of what’s going on, helping them to label their emotions and thoughts.

We spend time looking inward as well as outward to see what effect these negative patterns have had on us as individuals as well as partners. This helps to deepen our understanding of our own emotional world, allowing us to then share it with our partner.

Forging a New Beginning

Many of the couples that I see say that they wish things could go back to the way they were at the beginning of their relationship. Back before every conversation turned into a bloodbath. Back when intimacy and romance weren’t so difficult to achieve…

What they tell me as our journey comes to an end is that they no longer wish to turn back the hands of time. They say that what they have now is far better than anything they had before and far better than anything they could have imagined.

Until you have experienced having a deep, meaningful emotional bond with someone, you really don’t know what you’re missing. So what are you waiting for?