Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy was developed in the 1980s by Susan Johnson and her colleagues. The therapy is rooted in attachment theory, which asserts that one of the most fundamental needs of a human infant is to connect with and be loved and accepted by the other. Being born into the world as a helpless baby dependent on parental care, being loved by the other is a matter of life and death. While it becomes less prominent in adulthood, the desire for acceptance and love from the other continues to be one of the most important emotional needs throughout a person’s life.
Emotional relationships are structures that individuals build to meet these fundamental needs in a secure environment. According to Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, the primary problem in relationships is couples getting stuck in a negative cycle, which leads to them not being able to meet their basic emotional needs, such as feeling loved and accepted. The goal of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, whose effectiveness has been demonstrated through numerous studies conducted worldwide, is to help couples recognize the negative cycle in their relationship and the underlying emotions. This, in turn, enables them to approach their problems from a different perspective and develop more effective behavioral patterns.