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Welcome to Southern California Institute of Emotion Focused Therapy
Located in Los Angeles

 Emotion Focused Therapy is an empirically-supported, evidence based psychotherapy approach that views emotions as centrally important in human functioning and therapeutic change. EFT was initially developed by Dr Leslie Greenberg, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Elliott and Dr. Laura Rice (for individual therapy) and Dr. Sue Johnson (for couples' therapy). An emotion focused approach is based on methods designed to help people accept, express, regulate, make sense of and transform emotions and develop much deeper empathy as a path to health and well-being in individuals and couples. 

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) has evolved in recent years to have a significant impact on the field of psychotherapy.  Its increasing popularity and the growing support for its efficacy have made EFT an important approach to psychotherapy treatment.

What is Emotion Focused Therapy?

EFT proposes that emotions themselves have an innately adaptive potential that if activated can help clients change problematic emotional states or unwanted self experiences. This view of emotion is based on the view, now gaining ample empirical support, that emotion at its core is an innate and adaptive system that has evolved to help us survive and thrive. 

Emotions are connected to our most essential needs. They rapidly alert us to situations important to our well-being. They also prepare and guide us to take action towards meeting our needs. Individuals and couples benefit from therapy with the help of an empathically attuned relationship with their therapist, who seeks to help them to better identify, experience, explore, make sense of, transform, and more flexibly manage their emotions. As a result, persons receiving EFT treatment become stronger and are more skillful in accessing the important information and meanings about themselves and their world that emotions contain, and become more skillful in using that information to live vitally and adaptively.

Principles of Change

Emotions fundamentally tell us what is important to us in a situation and thus act as a guide to what we need or want. Although emotions are basically adaptive, they can become problematic for a variety of reasons: past traumas, emotion avoidance and problems in emotion regulation.

In order for change to happen, client needs to work through a sequence of emotion, from secondary through maladaptive to adaptive emotions, and must also cognitively orient to that experience, explore it, reflect on it and make sense of it. 

EFT involves a therapeutic style that combines both following and guiding the client’s experiential process, emphasizing the importance of both relationship and intervention skills. It views emotion as the fundamental datum of human experience while recognizing the importance of meaning making, and views emotion and cognition as inextricably intertwined.

We need to arrive at a place before we can leave it.
We have to feel a feeling in order to change it.

Based on emotion, attachment, and growth theory, EFT helps people identify which of their emotions they can trust and rely on as adaptive guides and which of their emotions are residues of painful memories that have become maladaptive to the person's current context and need to be changed. With the help of the therapist's empathic understanding and the use of experiential methods, clients learn how to make healthy contact with feelings, memories, thoughts, and physical sensations that have been ignored or feared and avoided. By accessing adaptive emotions such as healthy grief, empowering anger, and compassion, people are able to use these as resources to transform maladaptive emotions such as fear, sadness of abandonment and shame of inadequacy that have developed from past negative learning or traumatic experiences.

Emotion Focused Therapy is Effective in Treatment​ of:

Emotion Focused Therapy is basically suitable for all problems in which emotional dysfunctions are the main focus. This can be the difficulty experiencing emotions, regulating emotions, dealing with emotions or tolerating them.
Dysfunctions can also arise from experiencing maladaptive (not helpful) emotions such as shame, guilt inadequacy, self-denial, self-insecurity, mistrust, fear, anger, impotence, jealousy, helplessness, or hopelessness. 

EFT has been effective in treatment of the following disorders/difficulties: 
- Depression
- anxiety disorders (panic, agoraphobia, constraints) 
- post-traumatic stress disorder 
- eating disorders 
- personality disorders 
- difficulties in the partnership / couples therapy
- self-uncertainty or low self-esteem

What is Emotion Focused Therapy? 
Les Greenberg
Why Emotions are Important?
Dr. Robert Elliott
How did EFT come about?
Depression & relationship Issues
EFT and Mental Health
6 principles for working with emotions
Anxiety Explained by EFT

Thank you for Your Interest in Emotion Focused Therapy.

To get more information about

EFT workshops and trainings in Southern California

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