Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Emotionally Focused Family Therapy

  • James L. FurrowEmail author
  • Gail Palmer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_900

Name of Model

Emotionally Focused Family Therapy.




Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) provides therapists with a process-focused approach to restoring attachment bonds in parent-child and sibling relationships through increasing felt security in the family system (Johnson 2004). In EFFT, family distress results from rigid family patterns and persistent negative emotional experiences that block a parent’s ability to effectively address a child’s attachment needs. The therapist guides family members toward a more secure pattern of relating by shifting these negative interactional patterns into positive cycles characterized by greater parental accessibility, responsiveness, and emotional engagement and more effective attachment responses from children.

In EFFT, the therapist acts as a process consultant focusing on the emotional blocks and behavioral patterns that interrupt a family’s ability to respond effectively to the needs and concerns of other...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fuller Graduate School of PsychologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused TherapyOttawaCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam R. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA