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The Emotionally Focused Therapy view of emotion processing

Educating counsellors, social workers and therapists in Emotionally Focused Therapy throughout Australia.

The Emotionally Focused Therapy view of emotion processing

The Emotionally Focused Therapy view of emotion processing and practice

Dr Judith Ayre, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Emotional Focused Therapy discusses what the essential ingredients are of Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Are you looking to evaluate the practice of Emotionally Focused Therapy in your interactions with your clients? A great way of deciding if the therapy is the right fit for your practice is the review what makes up the essential ingredients for success within the therapy. The short overview below will help give a greater understanding of the theoretical practices.

The following are all essential ingredients of the change process.

  • Encourage Arousal
    • Access and Experience the internal subjective experience/emotion. The model has within it ‘experiencing tasks’ that create arousal.


  • Facilitate Expression
    • Expression mobilises and reveals self. Arousal without expression does not correlate with change. There are ‘active expression’ tasks built into the therapeutic model.


  • Enhance emotion
    • If over-regulated, interventions will support and goad the client to access internal experience. If under-regulated, explicit self-soothing, accepting, tolerating and self-compassion processes are used to regulate maladaptive amygdala reactions.


  • Generate Awareness
    • Create this awareness with mindfulness processes.
  • Explore feelings and meanings.
    • Symbolise in words, art, music, movement in the context of salient personal stories to help make sense of experience. Make sense of experience, create/construct new meaning, construct a new narrative.


  • Transform
    • The maladaptive emotional response is synthesised with, or transformed by, a more adaptive emotional response.

We then take these key ingredients into our practice with clients.

To learn more about how to develop your understanding take a look at our accredited postgraduate courses in a:

Or Improve your counselling and therapy expertise with a topic workshop from IEFT.