Emotion Focused Therapy
Emotion focused therapy (EFT) is a non-pathologizing counseling approach that utilizes an understanding of the wisdom of emotions in order to access therapeutic change. This is a collaborative process where all feelings are respected as intelligent information. Emotions are like an internal guidance system that reveals your core needs, values, perceptions, and beliefs. Unpleasant emotions inform you about problems in your life that need to be solved, and they reveal a path of action to get your needs met. Ignoring feelings can suppress self-knowledge along with the motivation to take constructive action. It also leaves your needs unmet. The result of this is frustration, stress, and overwhelm. It may even contribute to a sense of hopelessness, withdraw, and depression.
If you want to cultivate wellness, it is more effective to listen to the messages embedded in emotions. When feelings are attended to, they can teach you how to reduce stress, improve communication, and move towards living a more satisfying life. Emotions are not pathological disruptions that need to be conquered. They help you to understand yourself, connect with others, and adapt to the world around you. EFT can assist you in making sense of your emotional landscape. It aims to broaden the capacity to regulate challenging feelings, and it builds the skill of effective emotional expression.
Emotions can be complex because the immediate feeling is not always what it seems. There are primary, secondary, and instrumental emotions, as well as adaptive and maladaptive ones. Your therapist will help you sort through these layers. Adaptive emotions directly reveal the truth of your authentic, core needs. Maladaptive emotions point to old wounds from the past that need to be healed and updated with new information. These are the wounds that keep you trapped in familiar, negative cycles.
EFT works to unwind maladaptive emotions and bring you into contact with healthy, adaptive ones. When you identify and bring awareness to your emotional experience, the brain begins to regulate. It also becomes possible to discover and experience new meaning and new narratives. This is a key ingredient of transformational change. Your therapist is there as a guide who will walk alongside you as a co-navigator in this discovery.
EFT counseling in SLO