Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Softening in Emotion-Focused Therapy

  • Shannon IversonEmail author
  • Rhonda N. Goldman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_200


Softening in EFT-C


Emotion-focused therapy for couples (EFT-C) is a blend of systemic and experiential therapies created to enhance couple interaction by decreasing negative, escalating conflict and increasing intimacy and vulnerable emotional expression between partners (Greenberg and Goldman 2008). Leslie Greenberg’s intense study and training in systems work and power dynamics within relationships, families, and couples, combined with his emphasis on experiential work to facilitate emotional expression led him to pioneer the development of EFT-C, an integrative therapy that blends systemic and experiential techniques with a strong emphasis on therapeutic working alliance. First developed in 1988, Leslie Greenberg and Rhonda Goldman expanded the original model to include five stages: (1) validation and alliance formation, (2) negative cycle de-escalation, (3) accessing underlying vulnerable feelings, (4) restructuring the negative interaction and the self, and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy UniversityChicagoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA