Emotion-Focused Family Therapy is rooted in a deep belief in the healing power of families. It is based in the principles and techniques of Emotion Focused Therapy, Behavioral Family Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, and the New Maudsley Family Skills based approach.
The goal of this model is to empower parents to have a significant role in their loved one’s mental health and well-being. EFFT believes that parents and caregivers can learn the skills and take on the role that is needed regardless of the loved one’s motivation to change or involvement in treatment. It is considered to be a lifespan approach and therefore is used at any age with any members of the family that are willing to be involved.
Briefly, it involves:
- Becoming their loved one’s recovery coach – if needed, having parents/significant others help to understand and support the individual to interrupt the mental health symptoms and problematic behaviors that they are struggling with
- Becoming their loved one’s emotion coach – Helping parents/significant others to assist their loved one to approach, process, and manage stress, emotions, and emotional pain in a healthier way which makes their symptoms unnecessary to cope
- Facilitating relationship repair – which may involve healing old wounds from the loved one’s or family’s past in order to help the loved one to let go of the weight of these old injuries
- Working through and resolving the fears and obstacles (“emotion blocks”) that surface in the caregiver during this very challenging time as their loved one faces these struggles
For more information on EFFT: