This evidence-based approach has been created to support caregivers in their role of supporting their loved one’s recovery from issues with mental health. This is a type of therapy that has been inspired by attachment theories, emotional processing as well as neuroscience.
One of the goals within this therapeutic approach is to rebuild what is referred to as the secure attachment between family members. In childhood, secure attachment refers to the idea that children feel protected by their caregivers and they know that they can always depend on them. As we grow older, securely attached individuals enjoy and have trust in long-term relationships, feel comfortable sharing their feelings with others and are able to reach out to others for social support.
When working within an EFFT approach, parents and caregivers are empowered to take on an active role in their loved one’s mental health and wellness via behaviour coaching, emotion coaching and therapeutic apologies.
Within this approach, skills are delivered that are referred to as “advanced caregiving skills”. This type of caregiver involvement can be delivered by family members irrespective of the loved one’s age, level of motivation or involvement in any type of self-directed treatment. This is a key strength to this intervention, as it allows parents and family members (i.e., caregivers) to learn home-based support and skills to help their loved ones. This treatment can be helpful even if their loved ones are not actively wanting help for themselves or are unable to access these services. The tools and strategies offered by EFFT can be combined with other types of interventions and different levels of care. This can empower families as well as the treating clinicians.
Our family therapist uses EFFT when working with families for therapy as well as parent coaching. This approach can be very beneficial even when the individual experiencing the mental health issues are not actively engaged in treatment.