Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT)

The Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) approach is centered around supporting caregivers as they learn healthy and effective ways to support their loved ones struggling with mental health. Given the nature of this therapy modality, it is intended for whole families, parent-child relationships, or just parents. Under the Emotion-Focused Family Therapy approach, it doesn’t matter the age of the loved one. It is helpful and empowering for parents to learn how to support their children regardless of where each side is on their life journey. 

Emotion-Focused Family Therapy is intended to support parents and caregivers through a few key areas of relating. Firstly, caregivers are supported by learning how to interrupt destructive symptoms and instead promote healthy behavior. They are then taught how to help their loved one understand and process the thoughts and emotions beneath the destructive symptoms. Lastly, The Emotion-Focused Family Therapy focuses on healing the relationship challenges which may have occurred during the time their loved one was exhibiting destructive symptoms. EFFT is highly focused on emotion, and understanding how emotions show up in certain behaviors. Through this modality, parents can label their child’s emotions and the actions/behaviors that are associated.

While Emotion-Focused Family Therapy focuses on supporting a struggling loved one and the relationship issues, it also helps caregivers address their own emotional blocks. This model helps caregivers identify where their own fear and self-criticism are impeding upon their ability to support their loved one through difficult actions such as intervention. Emotion-Focused Family Therapy therapists give techniques that help the caregiver increase their self-awareness, while showing up more effectively for those they love.

One unique quality of The Emotion-Focused Family Therapy approach is that it can be transformational regardless of how the struggling loved one is showing up in their family or life. Even if the loved one refuses help, the transformation which EFFT creates in caregivers can positively shift the health of the relationship anyhow. When family members are feeling like they have nowhere else to turn, Emotion-Focused Family Therapy is often the exact help and relief that they are looking for. EFFT helps families create the trust, respect, and communication that are needed to build strong relationships. Families conclude their work with EFFT feeling a deeper understanding of each other, and security in their familial environment. Families are able to navigate conflict in a way which brings them closer together, versus drifting apart.

Our experienced providers at Colorado CBT are able to provide Emotion-Focused Family Therapy for Denver residents. If you are curious about whether or not your family would benefit, take a moment to honestly consider the dynamic between you and your loved ones. You and your family will benefit from EFFT if you are regularly experiencing hostility and conflict, if there are repeat issues that feel impossible to solve, or if there is a general lack of communication about life’s difficulties. Know that these circumstances are common. It doesn’t mean there is anything “wrong” with your family! Only that there are opportunities to grow. If you are interested, please reach out to make an appointment!