What is EFT Couples Therapy and How Does it Work with the Gottman Method Couples Therapy?

Perhaps you’ve heard of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and are wondering if it’s a therapeutic modality you and your partner could benefit from. 

The short answer?


Seeking therapy when you’re going through it – when there’s friction and areas in the relationship that aren’t working and need help – is a good thing. But… EFT may not be enough. 

What is EFT?

Before we get into why, let’s look at EFT. Emotionally Focused Therapy is based upon attachment theory. The premise being that human beings all desire to be securely attached, and emotional dysregulation or other issues arise and jolt us from that securely attached position. Leaving us to feel isolated, alone, and misunderstood. It can be a challenge to get through this in a relationship, and not devolve into dysfunctional patterns rooted in self-preservation.

In a therapeutic setting, a therapist working with the EFT method doesn’t rely on worksheets or other more structured approaches. Rather, the therapist works with the couple’s emotions, healing attachment injuries, and creating secure bonds.  

On the positive side, couples can express dissatisfaction, hurt, and other emotionally charged feelings. The therapist will reframe some of the perceptions surrounding the event; working with the couple to find a resolution.

But that only addresses half of the issue. 

Are You Getting What You Need?

Why do so many people land in positions like this in the first place? Positions in which they have a hard time communicating, connecting, and all the other messy bits that lead them to couples counseling?

Part of the reason is, because they don’t know any better.

Most of us adopt the bulk of our coping skills as children. They’re crude, blunt, uninformed, and childlike

They’re rooted in survival and self-preservation. As we continue to develop, many never take the time to question the ways they process or cope, and continue to act in the manner they adopted as a child well into adulthood.

Many just continue to learn and grow, and never really question some of the methods they use for coping with unpleasant or challenging emotions. They get suppressed and swept under the rug, or expressed in big, scary out of control ways. 

So, EFT is a wonderful means of connecting through emotion and bonding, but we need skills (actual tools to learn) and tangible advice that we can use when other unforeseen issues arise. We need to eliminate the likelihood of similar situations occurring again. 

Combining EFT with Other Evidence-Based Techniques

At the Relationship Therapy Center, we know the importance of strengthening relationships – it’s the core of what we do. 

So, our goal isn’t just helping you reconcile the past. We want to educate and empower you, so that your future is incredible. 

We use EFT when indicated, in conjunction with other proven couples counseling techniques, like the world-renowned evidence based Gottman Method. 

The Gottman’s believe that the problem solving process can be thought of as people’s basic life dreams in conflict. Conflicts can become gridlocked and hard for couples to solve on their own. Then in couples therapy the focus becomes exploration and understanding, building on the couples friendship system to make each other’s life dreams come true. During counseling, couples face each other and work through conflict with the therapist’s help so that they experience a new way to do it that protects and grows the relationship. 

The Gottmans have studied thousands of relationships and believe in the “good enough relationship” where both partners feel stable and satisfied.  Their Sound Relationship House theory works on the partners’ connection and friendship, helps to resolve conflict, teaches good repair attempts and self soothing, the art of compromise, and making life dreams come true.  Couples talk about wanting to be “on the same page” or “being a good we.”  The Gottman Method gives couples tools to take home and make that happen. 

We aim to arm you with a map that’s specific to your relationship, so that you and your partner get to enjoy the best of both worlds: a place where you are able to authentically connect with yourself, and enjoy life with someone you’re connected to, who enhances your overall experience.

Begin Couples Counseling in the Sacramento Area:

If you are ready to learn how to deal with the problems in your relationship, the therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center in Fair Oaks, CA and Roseville, CA can help! Our therapists are ready to support you and your partner in your journey towards creating a healthy and happy relationship. To begin counseling in Roseville, CA area,  or counseling in Fair Oaks, please follow these three simple steps:

Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

In addition to couples counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.