What is EFFT?

Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) and how it can support your family

At Decade2Connect, we lead our families towards connection through a form of therapy known as Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). We have seen this approach not only bring healing to the child but the family unit as a whole. So what is EFFT? And how can you incorporate it into your parenting?

EFFT is a form of family therapy that focuses on helping families address emotional issues that drive behavior and improve their relationships. This approach was developed by Dr. Leslie Greenberg and colleagues, building upon their work in Emotion Focused Therapy for Individuals.

EFFT is based on the belief that emotions are central to the way families interact with each other and that addressing emotional needs is crucial to improving family relationships.

Instead of addressing conflict by looking at behavior, EFFT looks beyond behavior to the emotion behind the behavior. Instead of an accusatory approach to healing, EFFT encompasses a non-judgmental lens. The therapy is grounded in attachment theory and views family relationships as a source of security and comfort.

If we view the family unit as a source of security, EFFT recognizes the importance of working with the entire family, rather than just one individual. The therapist helps family members identify and express their emotions, and teaches them skills for managing difficult emotions and communicating effectively. We have seen lasting change within the family, as this approach gives them the tools to understand how to communicate more effectively with one another.

The goals of EFFT include:

  • Improving emotional regulation
  • Increasing empathy and understanding between family members
  • Strengthening relationships
  • Promoting healthy attachment.

When these core issues are addressed, it’s common for behavioral issues to naturally taper off over time.

As a parent, there are simply ways you can incorporate the EFFT model into your familial relationships. Some examples of this include:

  • Modeling to your child how to express their emotions
  • Learning to respond instead of react to behavioral issues
  • Continually practicing effective communication when conflict arises.

Parenting is a journey. Your familial relationships will never stop evolving and EFFT is a valuable approach to supporting your whole family through this growth.

Decade2Connect is passionate about connecting individuals to themselves, their families and their community and is here to support your family. If your family needs additional support and resources, please reach out to our clinical team today! 

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!