Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotional-focused therapy (EFT) is a cutting edge, psychotherapeutic approach that entails a variety of settings.

EFT treats individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders, but it also has applications for couples’ therapy and family therapy. A clinical psychologist and researcher, Dr. Sue Johnson, founded EFT in the 1980s.

What is EFT?

EFT is a psychotherapeutic modality that focuses on emotional regulation.

The premise of EFT is that emotions play a significant role in the human experience and impact essential relationships. EFT is an evidence-based therapy studied extensively and improved many people suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

EFT is also considered the gold standard for couple’s therapy. Research shows that between 70-75% of couples that undergo emotionally-focused family therapy report less distress and roughly 90% of couples say their relationship significantly improved after EFT, with lasting results.

EFT aims to strengthen relationships and create a more secure bond between individuals, which improves trust and helps the relationship grow in a more positive direction. Often, people who go through EFT with a partner or family member tap into buried emotions and traumas, which have silently fueled issues within the relationship for a long time.

How Does EFT Work?

Trained mental health professionals in the EFT framework lead emotional-focused therapy sessions. All EFT therapists are certified and accredited by The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.

During an EFT session, the therapist will work with the clients to identify emerging patterns in their relationships, whether between family members, partners, or others. These patterns often involve negative communication or a lack of conversation, attachment issues, neglected needs or emotions, and betrayal.

EFT is a short-term therapy for either an individual, family, or couple seeking emotional treatment. Since EFT treatment focuses on an abbreviated amount of time, there should only be somewhere between eight to twenty sessions in total for the individuals involved. However, if more treatment is needed, EFT can be used in conjunction with longer-term analysis, like CBT or DBT, for those who need continued counseling.

bpd and addiction
The traditional EFT framework breaks down into three stages:

  • Stage 1 – Assessment and De-escalation: During the first stage, the therapist will lessen the cycle of negative interactions between the family members or partners. This procedure allows individuals to see the constraints more efficiently in their relationship, often related to insecurities and neglect. The first stage is essential because couples or families learn that their relationship problems lie in negative patterns and communication issues rather than issues with themselves.
  • Stage 2 – Restructure Interactions: In the second stage, the therapist helps the couple or family restructure their interactions. This stage usually involves assisting clients in discussing their thoughts and emotions toward the relationship without using negative language to create tension. At this stage, clients learn to become more open and practice discussing their needs and feelings more productively.
  • Stage 3 – Consolidation and Integration: In the third and final stage, the therapist helps the clients understand how they found themselves in negative patterns with their partner or family members and shows them how they overcame them. This stage gives the clients confidence that they can continue having healthy conversations with their loved ones in the future, without reverting to negative communication cycles.
dxm abuse

If you are considering treatment for yourself or a loved one, call us today.

How is EFT Used for Addiction Treatment?
EFT can be incredibly beneficial for recovering addicts who are struggling with negative self-talk or relationship issues.
Often, families or partners will seek therapy if their addiction begins to cause relationship problems. EFT can give people a safe space to talk about the addiction and how it impacts other people within the family unit.

When using EFT with individuals, the focus is less on the person’s relationship with others and more concerned with the relationship they have with themselves. People who struggle with feelings of poor self-worth, low self-esteem, and negative self-image may be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol to numb their emotions and quiet negative thoughts.

With continuous treatment, EFT can help the person come to terms with their relationship with themself, and it teaches them to be more accepting of their feelings. EFT can also address trauma, abandonment, unhealthy attachment, feelings of rejection, and other issues that can create internal turmoil and fuel substance abuse.

Because EFT targets thought patterns and emotional regulation, it’s also an effective treatment for people who suffer from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. A therapist may recommend EFT alongside long-term therapy approaches, like traditional talk therapy and CBT.

family therapy for parents

In addition to physical cravings, someone with an addiction issue will also spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about their drug of choice. These thoughts become a compulsion and impossible to control, which leads to drug-seeking behavior that can sometimes be criminal.

Feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety, despair, and the like are often at the root of substance abuse. The substance might temporarily mask these feelings, but they return once the high wears off, creating a vicious circle of drug abuse.

Taking a substance will temporarily stop the cravings and compulsion for it, but soon the same feelings return. In time, it takes more and more of the same substance to achieve the same effect it once had.

People addicted to drugs and alcohol may feel like they have no control over their drug use. Refraining from using or stopping seems to be an impossibility for them. The substance controls them, rather than the other way around.

Someone addicted to drugs or alcohol will continue to seek them out even if their addiction has made them lose friends, family, spouses, and jobs. Drug-seeking behavior can even lead to diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Treatment for Substance Abuse Disorders

At Nexus Recovery, we offer several different addiction recovery programs at our Los Angeles facility.

Clients can join our partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, or traditional outpatient program depending on their needs and their addiction severity. We are also offering online addiction and mental health treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our mission is to improve people’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being so that they can overcome drug and alcohol addictions. We offer various therapies, including clinical, evidence-based, and alternative approaches, because we believe we should treat substance abuse holistically.

Every Nexus Recovery client receives a personalized treatment program designed to set them up for success during treatment and beyond. Our goal is to help every recovering addict overcome their addiction so that they can live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is available. Contact a recovery advisor today at (888) 855-6877 for a confidential consultation.

In addition to physical cravings, someone with an addiction issue will also spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about their drug of choice. These thoughts become a compulsion and impossible to control, which leads to drug-seeking behavior that can sometimes be criminal.

Feelings of depression, sadness, anxiety, despair, and the like are often at the root of substance abuse. The substance might temporarily mask these feelings, but they return once the high wears off, creating a vicious circle of drug abuse.

Taking a substance will temporarily stop the cravings and compulsion for it, but soon the same feelings return. In time, it takes more and more of the same substance to achieve the same effect it once had.

People addicted to drugs and alcohol may feel like they have no control over their drug use. Refraining from using or stopping seems to be an impossibility for them. The substance controls them, rather than the other way around.

Someone addicted to drugs or alcohol will continue to seek them out even if their addiction has made them lose friends, family, spouses, and jobs. Drug-seeking behavior can even lead to diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, we’re here to help. Contact us today and speak with one of our trusted recovery advisors.

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