While Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and its offshoots like Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) focus on cognitions and behaviour, the primary focus of EFT is emotions. As you experience various events in life, you may experience many levels of emotions, some intense and some vauge. EFT disentangles these levels using various approaches, leading to clean, authentic resolutions.
EFT considers difficulties with emotions (e.g. overwhelm and confusion), unclear feelings, difficulties with expressing feelings, problematic reactions, self interruptions and unfinished business with people who are still in our lives or people from our past which still preoccupy us.
The steps involved in EFT include promoting awareness of emotions, cultivating emotional intelligence, monitoring how primary and secondary emotions wax and wane, evaluating the helpfulness of emotions experienced, identifying beliefs and views attached to maladaptive emotions, and transforming these maladaptive emotions and destructive beliefs.
EFT draws on systematic research and clinical experience of work of Prof Les Greenberg (Cananda), Prof Robert Elliott (UK) and Dr Sue Johnson. In Australia, it is also known as Process Experiential Emotion Focused Therapy (PEEFT). My approach to EFT incorporates the work of other experts in the field of emotions including Prof Paul Ekman (who developed the program Cultivating Emotional Balance with Buddhist scholar Dr Alan Wallace), Prof Silvan Tomkins and psychiatrist Dr Donald Nathanson (the scientific study of shame).
As a result of trauma and adverse events, there is often unprocessed fear, dread, despair, shame and guilt. Accessing and processing these emotions are key to successful resolution of problems. I have many ways of safely processing these feelings via Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) or EFT.