Attachment Theory in Practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families


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Drawing on cutting-edge research on adult attachment–and providing an innovative roadmap for clinical practice–Susan M. Johnson argues that psychotherapy is most effective when it focuses on the healing power of emotional connection. The primary developer of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples, Johnson now extends her attachment-based approach to individuals and families. The volume shows how EFT aligns perfectly with attachment theory as it provides proven techniques for treating anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. Each modality (individual, couple, and family therapy) is covered in paired chapters that respectively introduce key concepts and present an in-depth case example. Special features include instructive end-of-chapter exercises and reflection questions.


  • 1. Attachment: An Essential Guide for Science-Based Practice
  • 2. Attachment Theory and Science as a Model for Therapeutic Change
  • 3. Intervention: Working with and Using Emotion to Construct Corrective Experiences and Interactions
  • 4. Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy in the Attachment Frame: Expanding the Sense of Self
  • 5. Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy in Action
  • 6. Getting to Safe and Sound in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy
  • 7. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy in Action
  • 8. Restoring Family Bonds in Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
  • 9. Emotionally Focused Family Therapy in Action
  • 10. A Postscript: The Promise of Attachment Science
  • Appendix 1. Measuring Attachment
  • Appendix 2. General Factors and Principles in Therapy
  • Appendix 3. Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy and Other Empirically Tested Models That Include the Attachment Perspective
  • References
  • Index

Author Bio:

Susan M. Johnson, EdD, is the leading developer of emotionally focused therapy (EFT). She is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Distinguished Research Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University in San Diego; and Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. Dr. Johnson has been appointed to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors. She is a recipient of the Family Psychologist of the Year Award from Division 43 of the American Psychological Association and the Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, among other awards. Dr. Johnson is the author of acclaimed books for professionals, including Attachment Theory in Practice and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors, as well as bestselling books for general readers, including Hold Me Tight and Love Sense.

  • Hard cover
  • 278 page