Relationship Therapy Vancouver: Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is the most validated approach to relationship therapy available. This approach, which was developed in Vancouver, is recognized world wide. It helps couples who are distressed by changing negative patterns of interaction on the two dimensions of human interaction: the Affiliation Dimension and the Influence Dimension, in order to build new patterns of interaction and healthier attachments.

Typically in distressed relationships, both partners trigger each other’s underlying intrusive feelings such as anxiety, emotional pain, and shame.  Rather than revealing these feelings to each other, which involves vulnerability and the risk of being hurt, partners tend to avoid these feelings by reacting defensively and trying to change the other person’s perceived negative behavior.   This leads to escalating conflict and erodes partner’s feelings of attachment to each other.

In Emotionally Focused Therapy, change occurs as partners learn to identify and soothe their intrusive feelings before revealing the feelings and associated needs in a responsible manner that elicits empathy and understanding from the partner.  New, positive cycles of interaction emerge both in terms of how much closeness they are able to tolerate (the Affiliation Dimension) and how they share influence (the Influence Dimension). 

I am fortunate to have been involved with EFT since its inception in Vancouver in the 1980s, including conducting a constructive outcome study of EFT for my doctoral dissertation and publishing two articles.  I would be happy to bring my wealth of clinical experience and knowledge to help you build a more satisfying relationship.

To help you understand how I assist distressed couples in more detail, I have constructed a hypothetical clinical case study which you may read by clicking on the link below.

Clinical Case