chapter  Twelve
24 Pages

Case Example—EFFT and Traumatic Loss

WithJames L. Furrow, Gail Palmer, Susan M. Johnson, George Faller, Lisa Palmer-Olsen

This chapter illustrates the promise of emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT) in the treatment of relational distress related to unresolved traumatic loss within a family system. It explores the principles and practices of EFFT when the therapist is working with family members impacted by traumatic loss. The chapter presents the case example of Layla’s family that demonstrates the successful treatment of a family as they revisit a traumatic loss whose grief has spread over generations. The intense pattern of emotional disconnection organized the family’s shared response to this traumatic loss leaving Layla to carry the fear and pain about her brother’s suicide alone. In EFFT, the therapist is focused on repairing these negative patterns that block a family’s ability to resource and support one another particularly in the face of emotional impact of traumatic events and restoring security as a resource for resilience in the family.