Emotion Focused Therapy
EFT aims to get to the centre of the emotional reaction, i.e. our immediate emotional impulse. It’s often quite tricky to track down that impulse as we tend to ‘supress’ or cover up emotions we don’t feel comfortable about with other emotions (e.g. feeling anger instead of sadness) or we numb ourselves to our feeling (this often happens through compulsive or addictive behaviours of all kinds).
Only when we know what’s really going on: What we need and how to act upon those needs. We can use our emotional system again as the compass it is meant to be: Telling us what is good for us and what is not, so we can eventually trust our feelings again.
E.g. a patient with social anxieties would be guided to experience the fearful feelings in the therapy session, in order to find out, what triggers the anxieties, what happens to body and mind when the anxiety kicks in and how to move to a more empowering emotion.
As part of that process we usually also work on scenes in the past, when the complex emotional reaction was established (in our example that could be scenes of bullying or being shut down by a parent). Recognizing those painful memories is essential in order to move on to a different, more satisfying reaction.
EFT also is a time-effective approach that combines well with tools from CBT.