Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) teaches skills to accept and resolve negative emotions so people can accept themselves and make choices that support health, well-being and joy.

If you struggle with a mental health condition that affects emotion regulation, you could benefit from the emotion-focused therapy program at Transformations Mending Fences in Morriston, FL.


Young adult man suffering from impulse disorder and in need of EFT.


Emotion-Focused Therapy: Understanding Emotional Awareness

The EFT model uses a structured approach to helping clients develop emotional intelligence and manage emotional responses. It views our emotional experiences as central to our lives.

Initially designed for couples therapy, emotionally focused family therapy has evolved into an approach that uses individual therapy to treat mood disorders and other mental health concerns.

Emotion-focused therapy increases effectiveness when you have a strong, trusting relationship with a practitioner who has experience in this therapy focus. This person will guide you through the three-phase, nine-step EFT process.

Some of the treatment goals of individual emotion-focused therapy include:

  • Building positive internal frameworks of others and yourself that support lasting change in problematic emotional responses and patterns
  • Encouraging vulnerability, which can help you transform and regulate unhelpful emotions
  • Learning how to completely engage with, respond to and be open toward others, all hallmarks of secure attachment with loved ones
  • Seeing yourself as able to handle difficult emotions and maintain strong self-esteem and self-worth

People who undergo EFT individually or as a couple report improved understanding within relationships, emotional intelligence and functioning, and stronger attachments to their loved ones.

Emotionally Focused Therapy: Phases, Stages and Steps

Stage 1:

Awareness and De-Escalation of Distress, your therapist will begin the active process of emotion coaching with these four steps:

  • Assessing the issues you have surrounding adaptive emotions and unhelpful emotions, including difficulties with human functioning, impulse control, emotional regulation, family relationships, intimate relationships and associated areas
  • Finding patterns in the ways you cope with certain emotions and emotional experiences, including how these patterns affect both your internal experience and your ability to relate to family members and others around you
  • Developing a profound grasp of your unacknowledged emotional experiences and how they affect your relationships with others and your internal conflicts within
  • Reframing the need for new behaviors and coping strategies to regulate emotions in terms of your emotional experience, attachment needs, relationship with your own emotions and cycles of unhelpful emotions

Stage 2:

Here is when a person-centered approach is taken by helping you Reconnect and Restructure. Steps in this stage include:

  • Learning more about attachment needs, the internal model you have of yourself and others, and detachment from primary emotional experience
  • Accepting your emotional needs and asserting these needs as valid
  • Expressing emotion-focused needs so you can create positive connections and interaction patterns with others and yourself

Finally, you’ll enter Stage 3 of emotion-focused therapy: Change Consolidation. This change process consists of two steps:

  • Learning change strategies to improve the outcome when you face problematic emotional issues and practicing these new emotion-focused tools in a real-world setting
  • Designing new, healthy models of interacting and resolving conflict with yourself and others, along with the development of positive narratives in these areas


After undergoing EFT, this adult man is now experiencing improved mental health and a sense of happiness.


Are EFT and CBT the Same?

Emotion-focused therapy is not the same as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, both types of treatment focus on how your feelings, perceptions and thoughts shape your behavior and actions.

While EFT is primarily an experiential approach, CBT also focuses on helping you find solutions to symptoms like anxiety. You do exercises that help you pay attention to problematic thought patterns so you can replace them with helpful ways of thinking. This mirrors the focused therapy on emotional awareness cycles you’ll receive if you engage in EFT.

Candidates for Emotionally Focused Therapy

You may benefit from this mental health treatment if you have trouble regulating or expressing your emotions. For example, you may have notions from childhood that showing your feelings makes you weak or results in punishment.

It can also effectively treat emotional issues such as a lack of secure attachment and fear of abandonment stemming from early experiences.

However, it’s important to note that emotion-focused therapy can bring up intense feelings and memories.

Some studies also illustrate the efficacy of EFT as a treatment for anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

To learn if this evidence-based therapy is right for you, call our mental health facility in Florida today at (866) 305-7134. Our team can help you verify your insurance to see if it covers emotion-focused therapy.