Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
Restoring Connection and Promoting Resilience
Emotionally Focused Family Therapy is the definitive manual for applying the effectiveness of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) to the complexities of family life.
The book sets out a theoretical framework for mental health professionals to enhance their conceptualization of family dynamics, considering a broad range of presenting problems and family groups. The first section applies EFT theory and principles to the practice of family therapy. The second section explicates the process of EFT and examines the interventions associated with the EFT approach to families. In the final section, the authors provide case examples of emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT) practice, with chapters on traumatic loss, stepfamilies, externalizing disorders, and internalizing disorders.
Integrating up-to-date research with clinical transcripts and case examples throughout, Emotionally Focused Family Therapy is a must-read for therapists looking to promote the development and renewal of family relationships using the principles of EFT.
Table of Contents
1. Emotionally Focused Family Therapy 2. Families and Emotion: Sharing the Language of Attachment 3. Exploring the EFFT Process of Change 4. Alliance and Assessment of Family Patterns 5. Working through Relational Blocks 6. Engaging Family Vulnerability 7. Restructuring Attachment and Caregiving Responses 8. Consolidating Security in the Family System 9. Case Example: EFFT and Treating an Internalizing Disorder 10. Case Example: EFFT and Treating an Externalizing Disorder 11. Case Example: EFFT and Working with Stepfamilies 12: Case Example: EFFT and Traumatic Loss
James L. Furrow, Ph.D., is co-author of Becoming an EFT Therapist: The Workbook, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Dummies and co-editor of The EFT Casebook: New Directions in Couple Treatment.
Gail Palmer, MSW, RMFT is Co-Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Co- Founder of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute. Gail is co-author of Becoming an Emotionally Focused Therapist: The Workbook and leads trainings in EFT internationally.
Susan M. Johnson, Ed.D., is the leading developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (or EFT). She is a Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Distinguished Research Professor in the Marital & Family Therapy Program at Alliant University in San Diego, and Director of the International Centre for Excellence in EFT.
George Faller, LMFT, is the President of the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy. He teaches EFT courses at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and is the director of training at the Center for Hope and Renewal in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Lisa Palmer-Olsen, Psy.D., LMFT, is a Certified EFT Trainer and Supervisor for over 15 years and is the co-founder and co-director of the Emotionally Focused Couples Training and Research Institute at Alliant International University, San Diego.
"Emotionally Focused Family Therapy offers an important breakthrough in the practice of family therapy. In this wonderfully written book, Furrow, Palmer, Johnson, Faller, and Palmer-Olsen apply the wisdom and exceptional clinical skills refined over decades in emotionally focused couple therapy to family therapy. Grounded in the same base in attachment and emotion as the couple therapy, Furrow and colleagues astutely and artfully recreate this therapy in a form that addresses the unique sorts of issues that arise and typical problems in focus in family therapy. Filled with rich clinical vignettes, this is the book and treatment manual to consult to learn emotionally focused family therapy, as well as more broadly the use of emotion and attachment in work with families."
- Jay L. Lebow, Ph.D., Senior Scholar and Senior therapist, Family Insitute at Northwestern University, and Editor, Family Process
"Long anticipated, Emotionally Focused Family Therapy elegantly details the family version of emotionally focused couples therapy, one of the most popular and well respected theories in contemporary practice. In addition to clearly outlining the model step-by-step, Johnson and Furrow provide practical guidance for using the approach not only in common situations such as internalizing and externalizing childhood disorders but also with more challenging cases involving trauma and blended families. Without a doubt, this book will be essential reading in the field of family therapy for years to come, transforming how we conceptualize and approach work with children and families."
- Diane R. Gehart, Ph.D., Author, Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy and Professor, California State University
"EFT revolutionized couple therapy. Now, these groundbreaking pioneers have extended the approach to work with families. This delightfully engaging book is overflowing with enlightening clinical examples and session transcripts that demonstrate the power of emotion in family therapy. It should be required reading for all family therapists."
- Andrea K. Wittenborn, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Michigan State University
This volume provides a powerful foundation that guides therapists in the application of EFT principles with families who are entangled in rigid attachment patterns, that create barriers to recognizing attachment needs and responding with sensitivity and support. Emphasizing the precedence of emotion in family communication and therapy, Dr. Susan Johnson and colleagues elegantly illustrate how therapists can navigate complex family systems to reduce family distress; create new opportunities for the clear and safe expression of attachment needs; and develop new family patterns and narratives that promote strength and connection. Together with the recent development of of attachment-based interventions for couples, parents and families, this signals an important turning point toward a new era of evidence-based and relationally focused therapies."
- Marlene Moretti, Ph.D., R.Psych, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Youth Clinical Psychological Science
"This book reflects clinical wisdom in action. The authors address how the principles of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) can be applied to families, with a sensitivity to hierarchy, intergenerational relationships, and developmental stages. The authors make a compelling case for creating new emotional experiences among family members to transform negative cycles of behavior into positive ones, and to help families find security through vulnerability. They also provide a roadmap of the stages, skills and give-and-take "music" (the "EFT Tango") of emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT). They use vivid, engaging, sustained clinical examples to bring EFFT to life in ways that readers can both understand and apply."
- Fred P. Piercy, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Family Therapy, Virgina Tech and former editor, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
"Emotionally Focused Family Therapy articulates precisely and distinctively its underlying premises within the attachment theoretical framework, and how they translate into a model for the treatment of families along with the clinical examples that show how it actually works. This is a clear-as-it-gets exposition from A to Z of the application of attachment theory through a well-thought-through and proven therapeutic model that succeeds by how it operates in its particular approach to promoting healthy patterns in the connections and security of the emotional bonds that constitute couples and families. Clear, thorough, and practical!
- Harry J. Aponte, MSW, LCSW, LMFT, Clinical Associate Professor, Drexel University's Couple & Family Therapy Program, author of Bread & Spirit: Therapy with the New Poor, and co-editor of The Person of the Therapist Training Model: Mastering the Use of Self
"This expansive book provides an excellent guide for learning the concepts and skills of EFT. Beginning with Bowlby's attachment theory, the authors describe a step by step process of change illustrated with charts and transcripts of sessions that include a broad range of family problems."
- Peggy Papp, Senior Supervisor, Ackerman Institute for the Family and author, The Process of Change