Our emotions have a profound impact on our lives. They influence what we think and how much we let what we think to affect us; they are predominantly responsible for most of the purchases we make; they often make or break our relationships.

When trauma is brought into the mix, emotions can become radicalized, unhealthy behaviors can manifest as a result and it can take a toll on your relationships. 

Emotion-focused therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on addressing and healing peoples’ emotional health. This form of therapy can be used by couples, individuals, and even entire families. 

Emotion-focused therapy, at its core, is designed to help people become aware of, understand, take charge of, and heal their emotional health so they can form healthier relationships and lead happier lives.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at what exactly emotion-focused family therapy is.

What is emotion-focused therapy?

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is a form of short-term therapy — typically less than 20 sessions — that revolves around the importance of emotions in our mental state and psychotherapeutic change.

EFT is founded on the understanding that avoiding or suppressing emotions can lead to mental illnesses, physical ailments, and toxic (even harmful) behaviors toward yourself or others.

The overall goal of EFT is to help people develop an awareness of their emotions so they can take better care of their emotional health, which influences every area of our lives.

There are several different forms of EFT, but in this article, we’re going to focus on emotion-focused family therapy.

Emotion-focused family therapy

Emotion-focused family therapy (EFFT) holds the same principles as the standard EFT does, with a special focus on the family unit.

EFFT can help family members restore a connection with one another, foster healthier communication and boundary setting, promote a greater sense of community and belonging, and more.

The principle goal of EFFT is, through a variety of evidence-based techniques, to repair the emotional bonds within familial relationships by healing unhealthy, toxic, and wounded family patterns and behaviors.

Emotion-focused family therapy techniques

The techniques and methodologies used in EFT are rooted in two things: the principles of individual-centered therapy and emotion-centered coaching.

Each situation is a little different, as are the goals and objectives of each family in EFFT, so the first one-to-three sessions are typically for the therapist and family members to get to know one another better and build a positive relationship.

Once the family members have gotten a feel for the EFFT process and have begun to discuss their struggles with the therapist, that is when the therapist will begin integrating techniques to better help the family rebuild their bonds.

Some of these techniques might include:

  • Developing self-awareness of oneself and emotions
  • Learning how to understand emotions and how they influence behavior
  • Establishing the habit of pausing before responding (rather than knee-jerk reacting)
  • Restructuring and reframing emotional experiences
  • Learning how to de-escalate a personal emotional state or a situation with a loved one
  • Identifying unhealthy patterns and behaviors so as recognize where change is needed

If you think your family could benefit from an emotion-focused family therapy, send us a message.

Contact us to get started today

Real Recovery specializes in providing personalized, evidence-based treatment that’s designed to not only help you heal but rebuild a full, happy, healthy life. Our goal is to help you find freedom in your mental and emotional health; seeking professional help is the first step.

Our programs revolve around helping you bring sustainable change and greater joy to your life, and our compassionate staff members are here to support you every step of the way. To see which of our programs might be a good fit for you, call us today at 855-363-7325.