Your emotions are central in emotion focused therapy. This therapy assumes that emotions are important because they give direction to our behaviour. Our natural emotional capacity can be disturbed, for example by trauma or because we may not feel emotions. With the help of the therapist, you learn to recognize, use and re-structure your emotions. The therapist uses specific techniques for this. EFT is basically suitable for anyone who is open to psychological treatment, because the therapy is tailored to the client.
In EFT, the therapist works with the whole person, not with a syndrome or a symptom, and pays attention to each client in his or her uniqueness. Therefore, the EFT approach is first and foremost client-oriented. For EFT, personality change means, (better) learning to use and – where necessary – restructure emotions. The primary task of the therapist is to stimulate the client to reflect on his emotional experiences. This offers the client the opportunity to admit new feelings to his or her consciousness, which can lead to new insights, a different sense of meaning and thus different behaviour. The therapist helps clients to become aware of emotions and use them constructively and productively. The basic idea behind EFT is that emotions are adaptive, but that they can become problematic due to, for example, trauma or because people learn to ignore or stop emotions. In EFT, the client learns that instead of avoiding or controlling emotions, emotions tell exactly what is important in a situation and that emotions are valuable as a guide. Emotions are guidelines. They help us to find out which actions are appropriate, helpful and constructive, which ones are our deep desires and our needs. For therapy, this means that the therapist can use the client’s emotions as a kind of compass, leading the client and the therapist to what is really important and what the client has to do with it. A central principle for the therapist is that emotion gives access to wishes and needs of the client, which are always the source for movement, direction and action.
“Every feeling has a need, and every need has a direction for action”.