Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT; Greenberg & Johnson, 1988) and Process Experiential Emotion-Focused Therapy (PE-EFT; Elliott, Watson, Goldman & Greenberg, 2004; Greenberg, Rice, & Elliott, 1993) represent two key therapy modalities.
Thus, in EFCT, the goal is to engage the couple in affective-experiential work in such a way that interrupts negative interaction cycles while activating hope in future "secure attachment bonds" (Johnson et al., 2005, p.
The inherent factors which allow for the effectiveness of EFCT may be viewed as an aspect of "creation grace" as discussed by Johnson (2007).
The five central techniques in EFCT (Johnson, Hunsley, Greenberg, & Schindler, 1999) (tracking and reflecting underlying emotion, evocative questioning and responding, heightening, tracking and reflecting interactions and empathic conjecture) are simply the formal names of technologies of everyday intimate relationships.
Attachment Theory provides EFCT with a framework for understanding the relational system as well as the emotions which are experienced within that system (Johnson, 1996, 2008).
The use of Ingram's (1995) model with Emotion-ally-Focused Couple's Therapy serves to differentiate the assumptions that inform EFCT and to provide a roadmap for theological reflection.
In EFCT emotions are understood to be both a biophysical response to, and a cognitive appraisal of, a particular circumstance, and they are a means by which the individual knows him or herself within the context of his or her environment.
EFCT affirms the qualities of choice, creativity, valuation, and self-realization, all of which suggest that humans desire to transcend their present experience and possess the agency to make this happen (Johnson, 1996).
A study of 10 couples, including an adult female who had suffered child sexual abuse, provides initial support for the efficacy of EFCT for Trauma .
With regard to disorder-specific couple therapy, some data support the efficacy of EFCT for Trauma in couples, including a female partner with a history of childhood sexual abuse; no group-level data for Veterans with PTSD are available yet.
Target Target Improve PTSD Relationship Improvements Yes No Yes Disorder-Specific Generic Couple/Family Couple/Family Therapy Therapy No Partner-Assisted Education Intervention Family-Facilitated Engagement Abbreviations: BCT = behavioral couple therapy, BFT = behavioral family therapy, CBCT = cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy, CPG = Clinical Practice Guideline, CSO = concerned significant other, DOD = Department of Defense, DTE = directed therapeutic exposure, EFCT for Trauma = emotionally focused couple therapy for trauma, LMC = lifestyle management course, PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder, RCT = randomized controlled trial, SAFE = Support and Family Education (Program), SAT = strategic approach therapy, VA = Department of Veterans Affairs.