Will Emotionally Focused Therapy Help in PTSD?

PTSD can affect someone’s life in many ways. Learn more about emotionally focused therapy and if it can be an effective treatment method for PTSD.

Understanding Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) is a humanistic approach to psychotherapy. EFT therapy techniques prioritize emotion and emotional regulation. EFT is best known as a form of couples therapy, but individuals can also use it to treat various conditions. 1

Read on to learn more about EFT and how it may be helpful to you or a loved one.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

What to Expect from Emotionally Focused Therapy?

During emotion-based therapy, your emotion therapist will ask you questions about what you are struggling with and guide you to explore the emotions based on those problems. By understanding your emotions, you can begin working on coping mechanisms for the daily stresses of life and create a better sense of overall well-being.

What is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy?

Emotionally focused couples therapy will work with couples to explore issues in the relationship and the emotions associated with those problems. Each person will be allowed to express how they feel about issues in the relationship as the emotion therapist guides the couple towards a better understanding of one another. 2

Goals of Emotion-Focused Therapy

Common goals of emotion-focused therapy include:

  • Increasing awareness of emotion: Emotional counseling will help you increase awareness of your emotions so you can better understand how you feel in different circumstances.
  • Enhancing emotional regulation: Emotionally focused therapy techniques will help you improve your emotional regulation to better manage your reaction to stressful or difficult circumstances.
  • Transforming emotion: Emotion-focused exercises will help you transform negative emotions into more positive ones. This helps create a better outlook on life and your situation, leading to many benefits.

Stages of Emotionally Focused Therapy

When going through emotion-based therapy, there are generally three stages: de-escalation, restructuring, and consolidation. These consist of: 3

  • De-Escalation: During the de-escalation stage of emotional therapy, you will identify key issues of concern and negative patterns that are causing issues. Your therapist will work with you to identify any other unacknowledged fears or negative emotions. Your therapist will then work with you to reframe the issues and set goals for the rest of the therapy program.
  • Restructuring: During the restructuring stage, individuals are assisted in voicing their deep emotions. Individuals are then assisted in ways they can restructure their problems and learn ways to better cope and manage the daily stresses of life.
  • Consolidation: During the consolidation stage, individuals talk about old problems and develop new solutions. Individuals then begin using skills learned in therapy outside of therapy sessions.

What EFT Can Help With

An EFT treatment plan can help with various conditions, including addiction, depression, chronic illness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Emotional therapy can be beneficial when treating addiction. Addiction can often stem from several underlying causes and negative emotions associated with underlying issues. An emotionally focused therapist will help those struggling with addiction learn about the emotions that may be causing substance abuse.

Once individuals know why substance abuse may occur, they can use emotion-focused therapy exercises to learn coping mechanisms and create more positive behavioral patterns.


Emotionally focused therapy for depression can have many benefits. Symptoms of depression and the negative emotions caused by depression can stem from several causes. Emotionally focused therapy interventions can help those struggling with depression learn about their negative emotions and the underlying causes. Over time, individuals can learn how to manage their emotions better and create a more positive outlook toward everyday life situations.

Chronic Illness

Chronic illness can be emotionally draining. Anyone who struggles with long-term health issues has negative experiences that can lead to emotional issues. Emotional counseling can help those with chronic illness discuss how it has affected their life and learn how to manage their emotional response to difficult circumstances better.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is associated with many negative thoughts and emotions from past traumatic experiences. Emotionally focused therapy interventions can be beneficial for those with PTSD to talk through negative experiences and explore the emotions associated with those incidents. Over time, emotionally focused therapy techniques can help alleviate symptoms of PTSD, and individuals can learn to better manage negative thoughts and emotions that stem from past traumatic events.

EFT for PTSD and Benefits

EFT for PTSD and Benefits

Studies have shown that emotionally focused therapy can be effective for treating PTSD. Those who struggle with PTSD have many negative emotions associated with traumatic incidents. Emotionally focused therapists are well-trained and know how to effectively treat those who struggle with trauma, such as PTSD. 4

EFT for Couples and PTSD

Emotionally focused couples therapy can also help in relationships with a partner who struggles with PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD can affect both partners in a relationship and lead to many negative emotions. Emotionally focused couples therapy will help both partners express their emotions and learn how to cope during difficult moments. Skills learned in couples therapy will create a solid support system for the individual struggling with past trauma.

Benefits of Emotionally Focused Therapy

There are many benefits of emotionally focused therapy. Common benefits of EFT include:

  • Better emotional functioning: Emotional therapy will lead to better emotional functioning. This will help individuals learn how to manage their emotions better on a daily basis and be aware of their emotional responses during difficult situations.
  • Stronger bonds: Emotionally focused couples therapy will lead to stronger bonds in the relationship by creating a better understanding of each partner’s emotions. Partners can then begin to work together and create a supportive environment for each other.
  • Improved interpersonal understanding: Emotion-focused therapy leads to better interpersonal understanding for couples and people you interact with daily. This leads to better relationships with your significant other, family members, friends, and co-workers.

Find Emotionally Focused Therapy at Essence Healthcare

If you are looking for emotionally focused therapy for PTSD or other conditions, Essence Healthcare can help. Essence has emotionally focused therapists that can help effectively treat PTSD and other conditions someone may be struggling with. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.

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Questions About Treatment?

We are a patient-first substance abuse and mental health treatment facility located in Los Angeles, California. At Essence Healthcare, we provide different levels of care from detoxification to drug rehab aftercare. Our team is standing by to address your questions. Your call is confidential and no obligation is required.