chapter  Three
24 Pages

Exploring the EFFT Process of Change

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

This chapter addresses the initial steps of the emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT) process and the therapist’s practice that guide alliance formation and assessment of the family’s presenting problem and negative interaction pattern. It reviews a multilevel approach to assessment than guides the initial sessions of family treatment. Case examples illustrate the use of the EFFT decision framework and interventions used to direct treatment and organize relational patterns contributing to family distress. The chapter focuses on the process of alliance building and assessment that the forms the basis for identifying negative patterns in a family’s presenting problem. The EFFT process begins with a conjoint family session and follow-up sessions with parents, siblings, or with a single child. Actively guiding the process assists the therapist to introduce alternative perspectives and other voices that may otherwise go unheard. The therapist explains the process of assessment and future family sessions are scheduled as indicated by the goals of treatment.