Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_9320-1


Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) created by Dr. Susan Johnson and Dr. Leslie Greenberg is a systematic, empirically validated model of therapeutic intervention – based on attachment theory – that helps couples move away from ridged and negative interaction patterns and move toward caring, trusting, and emotionally bonding experiences.

EFT explores the negative and ridged defensive patterns of couples that fuel projections. These projections exhibit as blame, anger, attack, false acquiescence, and withdrawal. Projections in the defensive/escalated stance lead to ego-dystonic emotions such as loneliness, abandonment, inadequacy, and feeling unworthy or unloved. Relationship stress and a lack of a secure emotional bond activate these emotions. EFT is based on John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth’s attachment theory. Bowlby is credited with developing the theory and Ainsworth for validating and expanding it by remarkable research such as her seminal Strange Situation...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cottonwood Counseling Center Lafayette, ColoradoDenverUSA