Emotionally Focused Therapy

You really can start over.

EFT invites couples to understand their relationship as a dance; we cannot dance well with our partner without understanding and responding carefully to their cues. When engaged in their conflict cycle, couples often hide softer emotions such as sadness, loneliness, or hurt, behind anger or resentment, hiding the vulnerability that they long to share with their partner. As an EFT practitioner, I support couples in shaping new interactions that increase joy and connection in partnered relationships.

Laura Unsworth, LMFT

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a cutting-edge treatment for couples that is an experiential, attachment-focused model. The key assumption of EFT is that we inherently long for connection and security in our intimate relationships and that our relationships with primary caregivers inform how we relate to our intimate partners. Partners can easily get locked in negative cycles that are fueled by attachment fears and injuries. EFT helps couples to shift from rigid, repetitive conflict cycles that leave partners depleted and lacking hope, to establishing secure relationships in which partners are responsive to each other’s needs and effectively navigate conflict with care and attention. EFT recognizes that conflict is inherent to couple relationships, but that we can learn how to communicate our deepest needs to our partner in a way that they will receive and respond to well. Couples that complete EFT treatment often report greater satisfaction and connection in their relationships and that they are better equipped to navigate-and resolve- conflict that once threatened the very foundation of their relationship.

Priest, Jacob B. (2013). “Emotionally Focused Therapy as Treatment for Couples With Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Relationship Distress.” Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy: Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions, 12(1), 22-37.
Johnson, S.M., & Wittenborn, A.K. (2012). “New research findings on emotionally focused therapy: Introduction to special section.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, Supplement s1, 18-22. Rev. 25 – June 2017 Page 7 of 9
Lebow, J.L., Chambers, A.L., Christensen, A., & Johnson, S.M. (2012). “Research on the Treatment of Couple Distress.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(1), 145-168.
Wiebe, S., Johnson, S. M., Burgess-Moser, M., Dalgleish, T., Lafontaine, M., & Tasca, G. (2017). “Predicting follow-up outcomes in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: The role of change in trust, relationship-specific attachment, and emotional engagement.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 43(2), 213-226.
Wiebe, S., Johnson, S. M., Burgess-Moser, M., Dalgleish, T., Lafontaine, M., & Tasca, G. (2016). “Two-year follow-up outcomes in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: An investigation of relationship satisfaction and attachment trajectories.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 43(2), 227-244.

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Note on Health Insurance

1A Wellness is a self-pay out-of-network practice. As such, we do not accept health insurance. But if your healthcare plan includes an out-of-network option, partial reimbursement may be available. See our FAQ section for more information.