Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT)



our emotions are a core feature of your experiences as a human. You feel such a vast range of emotions every single day, and they can influence everything from your mood to your beliefs to your behavior. Joy, excitement, and gratitude are some of the best and most meaningful emotions you can feel, and they add so much purpose to your life. Unfortunately, though, negative emotions are just as much a part of your experience as positive ones.

We all have negative thoughts and feelings from time to time. However, if your negative emotions are controlling your every thought and decision, it’s time to make a change. Emotions are our natural responses to our circumstances, but you do have the power to take control of your mind and let your emotions be a gift instead of a struggle. Emotion-focused therapy, or EFT, is an approach to counseling that helps you accomplish this.

The Beverly Hills Therapy Group offers emotion-focused therapy for clients who want to gain a better understanding of themselves from an emotional perspective. If you think this might be the right path for you, we’re here to help.

What Is Emotion-focused Therapy?

Emotion-focused therapy is a form of counseling that prioritizes emotional wellness. The key beliefs behind EFT are that emotions are our guide to life and that emotions create our identity. Imbalanced or unpleasant emotions are a common cause of mental distress, and lack of emotional awareness can lead to inner turmoil. The best thing you can do to live a happy, healthy, and peaceful life is develop emotional awareness and learn to overcome your negative emotions.

Emotion-focused counselors take a collaborative approach to therapy where the therapist and client both contribute equally to the process. One of the most common misconceptions about mental health counseling is that your therapist will simply tell you what to do. This is rarely the case, though, especially in emotion-focused therapy. Instead, your therapist acts as a supportive figure, a guide, and a sounding board for you as you learn more about yourself and your emotions. You are the expert on your own feelings, and your therapist’s job is to empower you to discover them.

What Are the Key Concepts of Emotionally Focused Therapy?

One of the core theories behind emotion-focused therapy is emotion schemes. These are memories of past emotional experiences that shape your current emotional state and understanding of the world.

Emotion schemes often form in response to trauma or other painful or negative events. The more intense the experience or the stronger your emotional response at the time, the more likely you are to develop a scheme as a result. Once the scheme is formed in your mind, it will continue to influence your thoughts and behaviors until you actively override it. The purpose of emotion-focused therapy is to discover and change these schemes so that you can relate more positively to the world.

There are two main steps to emotion-focused therapy. The first is to become aware of your emotions. Before you can change your mental or emotional state, you have to understand what you’re working with. Emotions are incredibly complex, and it can take a great deal of time and self-exploration to truly gain awareness of your schemes. This step is so helpful for long-term emotional awareness, though.

The second goal of emotion-focused therapy is to transform your emotions so that you’re no longer controlled by your unhealthy thoughts. Although emotions are instinctive responses, with practice and patience, you can learn to take control of them so that they no longer cause discomfort or negative behaviors.

Benefits of Emotion-focused Therapy

Emotion-focused therapy has so many benefits. Whether you’re struggling with a diagnosed mental health disorder or are just looking for a higher level of emotional awareness, EFT can be a valuable resource.

The following are some of the greatest benefits of emotion-focused therapy:

EFT helps you tackle your challenges head-on.

When we feel unpleasant emotions, we often avoid the situations that trigger them. While this may provide a short-term escape from the negativity, it ultimately can lead to worse symptoms. For example, if you struggle with anxiety, your natural response might be to stay away from anxiety-inducing places, people, or situations. However, this only reinforces your fear and makes it harder to overcome your challenges.

Emotion-focused therapy empowers you to face your issues directly. Instead of avoiding or suppressing your emotions, you learn to understand and accept them. Then, you can actively work to change them.

EFT improves your self-awareness.

Developing a stronger sense of self-awareness allows you to navigate your life with more peace and confidence. When you know exactly how you feel and why, you’ll feel more certain in your decisions and behaviors. You can predict when a situation might be upsetting for you, and you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and avoid negative behaviors.

EFT increases your resilience to withstand future struggles.

Emotion-focused therapy provides an opportunity for you to explore how your past experiences shaped your current emotional state. Understanding and overcoming your past is essential for your current well-being. EFT isn’t just about the past, though. By improving your emotional awareness and resilience, you equip yourself to handle future challenges with ease. The skills you gain from EFT can continue to benefit you for the rest of your life.

EFT strengthens your interpersonal relationships.

EFT is often used in couples counseling to help partners understand and relate to each other more positively. By using an emotionally focused perspective, you can approach conflicts with your partner from a place of empathy instead of aggression or defensiveness. This higher level of awareness allows you to overcome challenges together and grow closer as a couple.

Emotion-focused Therapy Can Help You Thrive

If your emotions cause you pain or distress in your day-to-day life, emotion-focused therapy might be the answer. You deserve to live your life with a sense of peace and clarity, and taking control of your emotions is the key. In EFT, you can take an active role in the therapeutic space and become an expert on yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings.

EFT can be helpful for anyone who wants to be more compassionate with themselves and let go of their negative emotions. Some people who go through EFT have mood disorders, anxiety disorders, or other mental health diagnoses. Others are looking for a stronger sense of awareness and purpose. No matter where you are in your mental health journey, understanding your emotions is a critical step in the process.

The Beverly Hills Therapy Group offers emotion-focused therapy as one of our many specialties. We know how valuable an emotion-focused approach can be to counseling, and we are proud to help our clients gain a better understanding of their emotions. If you’re looking for an EFT therapist in Beverly Hills, you can call us at (888) 494-7788 or write us to set up your free consultation session with an experienced counselor.

Dr Ron N. Gad, PhD

Ron N. Gad, PhD


Dr. Ronen Nissan, PhD is the founder of Beverly Hills Therapy Group in California. Dr. Gad holds a PhD in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Along with his staff of licensed therapist, Beverly Hills Therapy Group provides mental health services for many disorders including anxiety, trauma, depression, and several others.


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