Case Formulation in Emotion-Focused Therapy: Addressing Unfinished Business
Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is designed to target and change unhealthy emotional processes that underlie the problems people bring to therapy with the goal of co-constructing new, healthier emotional processes.
After unfolding client presenting problems and developing an understanding of the client's emotional processing style, emotion-focused therapists engage in empathic exploration to track, access, deepen, and restructure emotion. Case formulation is conducted throughout, in the moment-by-moment process of therapy.
Case formulation in EFT involves the differential assessment of emotional states, recognizing in-session markers that prompt the use of particular tasks to help people regulate emotions and transform maladaptive emotional processes. Changes in emotional processing help clients reconstruct narratives and form new life stories.
In this demonstration, Dr. Rhonda N. Goldman works with a young woman who has unfinished business with her mother, using an empty-chair dialogue to help access the client's core emotion schemes.