Emotions are the most important part of psychology and you might think that all types of psychological therapies are ’emotion-focused and you aren’t actually wrong as most therapies are based on emotions, behaviours and thoughts. Emotion-focused therapy is quite different in many ways.
Relationships whether they are emotional or physical need support to stay strong and here comes emotional-focused therapy. It is an intervention based on the study of adult love and bonding in couples.
Fundamentally, emotions tell us what is important and guide us to what we need and want. It is important not just for relationships but also for your own well being and mental health.
What is Emotion-Focused Therapy?
Emotion-focused therapy or EFT is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the belief that emotions are the key to personality. Emotions are an important factor that helps us make decisions and choices. Individuals that lack emotional awareness may be unable to use the important information that emotions provide us.
Emotion-focused therapy helps people seeking assistance for a range of concerns and problems, especially relationship difficulties and dilemmas. It helps people become better at using the information provided by the emotions that are adaptive.
People who can cope with negative effects can achieve anything and this type of therapy may help decrease the effects of maladaptive emotions.
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Emotion-focused therapy is put to use when there is distress between couples and families. It can benefit by making them learn how to improve their relationships. Anger, fear, distrust or betrayal are the emotions that can affect the relationship.
Emotion-focused therapy can be effective for individuals who are finding it difficult to cope with their own illness, helping the distressed relationship. It can even alleviate the symptoms of depression and trauma.
How can Emotion-Focused Therapy Help?
Controlling emotions can be hard and overwhelming. You can’t simply attempt to throw away certain emotions and live happily ever after. Unsuccessful attempts to regulate your emotions may aggravate even more issues which pushes people to seek therapy.
For example, people with depression or anxiety may avoid certain situations to reduce fear and worry. This can lead to even more loneliness which can aggravate the problem rather than help reduce it. EFT is an effective method that helps the individual foresee their emotions as a valuable source of information and learn from it.
Emotion-focused therapy may help you learn to experience rather than suppress your emotions. It focuses on the treatment of many psychological issues. It was originally used to treat depression but it has expanded to be used to treat childhood abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, distress in relationships and interpersonal issues.
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How does it Benefits?
Overall, there are several benefits of emotion-focused therapy. If you think you won’t mentally reap any benefit out of it, you might be wrong! It may help in many ways, including making you aware of your emotions.
Here are some benefits of emotion-focused therapy:
- A better understanding of your emotions.
- Helps you discern your needs or wants.
- Enables you to infer your partner’s needs and wants.
- Makes you confident enough to talk about the problems with empathy.
- Helps you learn your insecurities and how to manage them.
- Helps to make your relationship stronger.
- Helps you find the cause of the problem.
- Helps you learn, welcome, regulate and describe the emotions.
- Helps you in discerning healthy ways of coping with negative thoughts.
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EFT usually lasts for 16-20 weeks. However, this may depend on the individual and the severity. All you need to do is seek help! This might be the solution to the problem and issue you and your partner might be facing.
Emotion-Focused Therapy Exercises (For Couples)
The following exercises can help you build a strong bond and are for emotional connection which comes from emotion-focused therapy. Here are some emotion-focused therapy exercises to cope with relationship distress.
1. Slow Down
The first step is to go easy even if you are caught up in work, distracted or stressed. In all these, make sure you stop and check up on your partner and make them feel seen.
Even if it’s a kiss, asking them how their day went or offering some time to them, you need to slow down and make them feel seen.
2. Be Present
Even if you are not together, listening to them, observe their emotions and sharing important moments even over the phone, be present. This may help your partner understand that they matter to you. This exercise will pay off in the connection between you two.
3. Be Emotionally Engaged
Emotional response and presence are quite important to give your partner loving attention. Show them that you are open and available to connect. Stay close and listen to them attentively or maybe kiss them on the forehead, gazing in their eyes with affection.
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4. Be Emotionally Responsive
Sometimes all a person need is an actual response when they are stressed out and need help with a difficult situation. You may have heard the same story or problem thousands of time but make sure to tune in again, validate their emotions and listen to what they are going through. Reach out and build that connection again.
5. Create Moments to Tune in
Intimate connection is as important as emotional moments, it helps you create moments that give you an affectionate smile for a lifetime. Try purposefully creating beautiful moments like a hug and kiss while meeting or separating, call to check-in, leaving short cute notes or texts for them, giving them enough time for sharing thoughts and emotions or doing an activity you both enjoy.
Emotion-focused therapy helps people look inside them and validate their emotions that most people usually ignore. It helps couples and family members better understand and validate each others’ emotions well and helps them build a stronger relationship.
If you feel your relationship is distressed or there is that one problem you fail to solve, you can seek help, emotion-focused therapy may work for you!
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