Case Example—EFFT and Treating an Internalizing Disorder
Emotionally focused family therapy (EFFT) focuses on the most vital resource to children, their family, and helps make visible and audible the problems these children face with the people that matter the most. The map of EFFT suggests that the more secure an adolescent’s relationship with his family members, specifically his caretakers, the more independent and confident the individual is in exploring her environment. The emotionally focused therapy therapist works to create a therapeutic environment that is safe and scaffolds emotional conversations that are transparent, clear, and regulated. The therapist sought to understand each person’s perspective on the family while tracking the unfolding interactional patterns keeping the family in distress. The therapist validated the strength and courage the couple were demonstrating in opening up the past and facing the trauma together. The new positive cycles were highlighted and celebrated by the therapist and the contrast between the negative cycle and their new way of interacting was summarized.