Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples

  • Rhonda N. GoldmanEmail author
  • Irene C. Wise
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_194

Name of Model

Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples




Emotion-focused therapy for couples (EFT-C) is a person-centered and empirically supported treatment model for couples in distress. EFT-C can also be applied with nondistressed couples seeking to deepen intimacy and improve the quality of their interactions. The premise of EFT-C is that affect regulation organizes couple dynamics and is the core motivation for coupling. Using a blend of systemic and experiential concepts and techniques, therapists employing EFT-C enhance affect regulation in the relationship by first helping couples replace their negative relational cycles with positive ones and then fostering each partner’s ability to self-soothe. Problematic interactional cycles are transformed by each partner accessing vulnerable emotions in the presence of the other. Guiding the couple to focus on their negative relational patterns also has the advantage of reducing the tendency of blaming the other...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy UniversitySchaumburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam R. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA