An EFT Roadmap for Individuals
Often my clients want to know, “where are we in the therapy process?”
The following description breaks down the roadmap of EFIT (Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy). The work is not strictly linear. For ease of explanation, however, the process follows three stages. Within these stages, there are nine steps.
The Nine Steps
Stage 1: Identifying/Understanding Your Strengths/Challenges In Relationship to Yourself and Others
Step 1: We will set goals for our work together, allowing us to explore and understand some of the ways your history/current life affects your present-day and how you cope.
Step 2: We will then work to discover and describe any negative patterns of interaction with yourself or/and others and explore coping mechanisms. We will break down, slow down and analyse where you feel stuck.
Step 3: We will explore what happens to you when you get triggered and step in and have a different experience of this place. You may first become aware of feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, numbness or shutting down.
My job is to help you notice other emotions beneath the initial feelings. These often include hurt, sadness or fear. Then, with your permission, I will help you deepen the experience of these more hidden, vulnerable emotions. Over time, this process will enable you to build resilience and strengthen healing around these experiences.
Step 4: We will explore your coping mechanisms and recognise your triggers, looking at how you emotionally protect yourself. We will look at how previous life and relationship experiences have helped form these survival strategies. I help you slow down your experiences of these difficult places so that you can tap into the feelings beneath the surface of this process when it is happening, understanding why it happens.
I will then help you notice, identify and gain control of these old coping mechanisms before they become hurtful and damaging to yourself and your relationships.
Stage 2: Creating a New and Safe Relationship with Yourself and Others
Step 5: At this stage, you will be able to talk about and explain your feelings in a way you might not have been able to before. With more compassionate understanding and less triggering, a sense of safety will develop. With this safety, we will then be able to explore the hurts and pains of the past and how they show up in the present in more depth.
As you feel safe enough to take more emotional risks in our work together, you will begin to understand your experience differently. In this way, you can develop greater empathy for yourself and how you cope.
Step 6: My job is now to help validate and clarify what you need in this new experience of past or present difficulties. I will help you understand what you need emotionally and how you can access this from within yourself and in relationship.
Step 7: We will then explore what helps you feel deeply connected to yourself and others.
I will then support you in finding ways to ask for what you need with clarity and compassion.
As this way of communicating becomes more robust, you will feel safer and less triggered when difficulties arise.
Stage 3: New Patterns Are Established to Help Solve Old Problems in a New Way
Step 8: We can now look at repeated triggers. These might include conversations with a particular person, memories that arise, family issues, health or work concerns. As we work through them, they will feel less burdensome as you will feel like you can cope in a new way.
Step 9: At this final step, it is essential to acknowledge and celebrate the process you have undergone and what you have achieved. It is equally important to put safeguards in place to protect you as you move forward. We will find ways to keep this new resilience and relationship to yourself and others strong in the short, medium and long term.