EFT Couples Counseling is all the rage these days as it is evidence based. Not to be confused with the other EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique or better known as “tapping”, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy deals with attachment issues in relationship and attempts to create a more secure attachment between partners. While there are some similarities between Imago Relationship Therapy, there are some differences that may make EFT come up a little short.
EFT vs Imago Therapy
- The couple as expert– In Imago therapy, the couple is the expert. This means that the main interaction is between the couple, with the therapist acting as facilitator. Even when one individual may try to lure in the therapist, the counselor brings the attention back to the relationship at hand.EFT, both with their individual sessions with each partner as well as in the actual session with the couple, may find the therapist doing work with one partner as the other sits to witness.
Instead of the partner being the healing element, the therapist is.
This may be counterproductive to healing the couple’s relationship. It may also place too much emphasis on the therapist. That may explain why we have worked with couples who went to EFT and were not successful. Even if the model was good, if the therapist is not skilled, it won’t be successful. While a therapist of any modality must be skilled, it will be even more crucial in a modality where the therapist is seen as the expert and/or healer.
Where EFT falls short
- 2. The Dialogue Process– While EFT can help couples become more sensitive to each other’s deeper wounds, they do not have a structured process that can be replicated easily out of the office. A couple could do EFT and still feel after many sessions that they did not learn any practical skills. Whereas, Imago therapy equips a couple with many practical steps, including the Dialogue Process to discuss any difficult issue the couple faces. Couples really feel they have the skills it takes to be married, thus feeling empowered.
- 3) The Big Picture– EFT does not have the same way of conceptualizing conflict as Imago Relationship Therapy. While couples may work through their conflict, they don’t understand the greater context in terms of why they fell in love in the first place, how their partner was tailor made for them and how working through these issues will help them heal their past. Imago helps couples see the big picture, providing them an impetus to do the work, giving them hope things can be better, something much needed for couples who are even unsure if they can make it work.