chapter  Six
31 Pages

Engaging Family Vulnerability

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

This chapter review emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT) practices that facilitate exploration of a child’s attachment-related emotions and needs. It highlights the use of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) interventions that support a family taking new steps of vulnerability and acceptance. Similar to EFT treatment with couples, family members are asked to shift to new positions of vulnerability and responsiveness through engaging these attachment-related emotions and needs. In EFFT processing parental acceptance of a child’s vulnerability requires parents to shift toward a more accessible and responsive caregiving approach. The parent’s vulnerability provides a resource for attuning to their child by actively responding to the emotional cues in the moment. The therapist is actively working alongside the parent to make sense of her vulnerability as a caregiver and to find her confidence as a stronger wiser other. The case example demonstrates the therapist’s focus on the child’s vulnerability and processing parental acceptance through the five moves in the EFT tango.