Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an emotion-focused approach to psychotherapy with a solid research base. It focuses on emotions as fundamental to human life and a key factor of self-organization.
In emotionally focused therapy, therapists help clients cultivate healthier modes of interaction that create more secure and emotionally gratifying relationships. This process involves working through core maladaptive feelings, such as shame and fundamental insecurity.
All emotions hold valuable information that can positively influence interactions. Individuals must become more aware of their emotional experiences to access this information.
One way is through self-soothing, reflecting, and validation techniques. Another is systematic evocative unfolding, where the therapist uses evocative questions and response-based exercises to help clients access their experiences and emotions.
Lastly, it is possible to build emotional awareness through practicing mindfulness practices. In this approach, the individual tries to observe their emotional experience with openness, curiosity, and acceptance.
It helps to shift the organization of core internal experience and interactional patterns. A vital benefit of this practice is the ability to discern between primary adaptive and primary maladaptive emotions. Primary adaptive emotions provide helpful information and organize the person to respond adaptively to meet essential needs. In contrast, primary maladaptive emotions often imbue people with feelings of shame that are imbued with past traumatic experiences.
The ability to regulate your emotions is vital for healthy functioning. Emotion focused therapy Ottawa empowers you to manage and use your emotions to your advantage.
It’s normal for our feelings to overwhelm us occasionally, but having trouble regulating your emotions can lead to unhealthy or self-destructive behaviors. For example, road rage or self-injury can be signs of emotional dysregulation.
When you learn to identify and understand your negative emotions, it becomes easier to regulate them. It is when you can stop the downward spiral of depression or anxiety and take control of your emotions. During the first phase of emotion-focused therapy, your counselor will help you become aware of patterns that lead to negative responses so you can change them. They will validate your experiences and emotions and provide a safe and calming environment. They may also suggest various strategies to help you cope with your emotions, like practicing mindful meditation or breathing deeply into your belly so you can calm yourself.
Emotionally focused therapy is an effective way to develop psychological flexibility. Practicing psychological flexibility allows you to be open and flexible when difficult emotions arise, rather than being rigid or defensive. You can improve your emotional state by learning to transform unhelpful emotions, like anger, into more useful ones, such as confidence.
More flexible people may better regulate negative emotions and take conscious action based on their values and long-standing beliefs. It is a core concept of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a popular form of CBT. It helps people build resilience in the face of difficulties by practicing mindfulness, acceptance, and value-based actions.
One way to assess your flexibility is by taking this straightforward questionnaire, which gives you a score on a seven-point scale. However, it’s important to note that these results rely on self-assessment and might be affected by social desirability or biases.
Emotional intelligence can improve all areas of life, including work and relationships. It helps people be more resilient and overcome adversity. It also can lead to better job performance, higher self-esteem, and lower levels of depression or insecurity. It also can help a person understand their emotions and those of others and use this information to make healthy decisions.
Awareness of your emotional states can help you be more flexible, which can be an asset in therapy. It can help you avoid overreacting and take a more measured approach to situations that might affect you negatively or positively.
In addition, it can assist you in recognizing and understanding the mainly nonverbal cues that others are constantly using to communicate their emotional state and what’s important to them. It can also help you set boundaries in both personal and professional relationships. Several models of emotional intelligence have been developed, the most famous of which was created by Goleman and consists of both trait and ability models.