Pict by Maud Chalard

Emotionally Focused Therapy works because it helps people-and not just couples-accept something that our world puts on the back burner, namely our need for love and secure connections.

Our world is poisoned. But the poison that is making the planet and its inhabitants sick is not pollution.
It is not exhaust fumes, or Co2 emissions.
It is not industry, it is not capitalism, it is not consumerism.

The poison that is consuming us is the lack of love!

While our lives have gradually become longer, more comfortable and much safer, we are getting sadder and sadder.
We are unhappy.
We are dissatisfied.
We are stressed, gripped by chronic stress that gives us no respite.
We work to buy things we don’t need. We eat foods that poison us, triggering chronic inflammation and causing us increasing discomfort.
We sleep fewer hours than our bodies need to cleanse and regenerate. We spend too many of them glued to our smartphones, isolating ourselves even among people.
We are obsessed with performance, goals and results, and social and social expectations of ourselves.
We are prisoners of time, time management, and to-do lists.

Pict by Maud Chalard

The problem is that in this obstacle race, we have progressively taken away space and time from connections.

We are prisoners of a bias – a cognitive distortion – that leads us to believe that we no longer need love. On the contrary. That it is something to distance ourselves from.

We have grown up thinking that once we are weaned, to gain independence, it is necessary to free ourselves from ties.
As Sue Johnson writes, in “Love sense,” we have convinced ourselves that love is limiting, that is, that it restricts our options and experiences.
“But it is exactly the opposite. A secure connection is the launching pad for going out, exploring the unknown, and growing as human beings.”

The reason why is so simple, even trivial.
Secure bonds are – precisely! – secure, meaning they make us feel protected (and understood, listened to, worthy of attention, cared for, etc.).
When there is someone we can count on, when this someone “has our back,” we feel secure, and more open to face new challenges.

“Thus strengthened, we become confident in ourselves and in our ability to take on new challenges. For example, young female professionals who are emotionally close to their partners and seek their reassurance are more confident in their abilities and more successful in achieving their career goals. It is an ironic paradox: being dependent makes us more independent.” Sue Johnson


Instead, in our world, “dependency” is a dirty word, something #toxic, therefore to be avoided at all costs, so much so that from psychoanalysis onward, basically from Dr. Sigmund onward, we have deluded ourselves that the ability to detach ourselves from our ties, starting with the one with our parents, demonstrates our emotional strength.
We are wary of couples who are “too” close, as if there is too much, to the point of telling ourselves that these individuals are too close or too dependent on each other.
The consequence is that from year to year, as we grow up, we begin to see those who need love as weak, and so we learn to be ashamed of our own need for love and secure bonds.
Because, just as I wrote here, “Love, from Fiction to Biology“, love is not only our greatest strength, it is also the most powerful drug in our entire universe.

Emotionally Focused Therapy, on the other hand, has proven that it works just the opposite!

To accomplish this, it has observed and studied life in general-the biology and physiology of living things-and specifically our own, that of the human species we call Homo Sapiens but which we should call Homo Vinculum.


From “homo”, a word that in its original/ethimological sense disregards genders, and should be understood from the Latin homo, hominis, itself closely related to the term humus, “earth,” specifically moist, watery earth (from humor or humor), hence cultivable.
And from “vinculum,” of one who binds, tightens and maintains secure relationships.

The ability to form bonds and collaborate is perhaps what most enabled our great-grandparents to survive. And thus to adapt. And then grow and do wonders.

“Love bonds are our birthright and our greatest asset. They are our main source of strength and joy. Seeking and giving support are so vital to human beings that social psychologists Mario Mikulincer and Phil Shaver observe that rather than being called Homo sapiens, or “one who knows,” we should be called Homo auxiliator vel accipio auxilium, or “one who helps or receives help.” To be even more precise, I would say we should be called Homo vinculum, “he who binds. “1
Sue Johnson

Physiologically speaking, people who can count on a secure bond live longer than others, and healthier. They are stronger. Their bodies are more resilient, as are their immune defenses. Their serotonin production is higher, and more constant. Their mood is more balanced and happy.

Physical and emotional balance go hand in hand, joined in a bond of mutual dependence!
When love is missing in our existences, the absence of secure bonds makes our organism sick, intoxicates our thoughts and poisons our behaviors.
The emotions we experience configure – basically design! – our perception of the world and thus our reactions to it.
That is why Emotionally Focused Therapy began by finding its first applications in couples therapy, but has since evolved to open up to individual therapy:
Because we are human. We are Homo Vinculum.
Because we are alive. And Life needs love.
Because love is a drug. The most powerful, the safest of all drugs.

What happens when Love is lacking?

Not only do we perish on a physical level and risk getting sicker, but the lack of love and secure connections in our lives prevents us from having a healthy relationship with our emotions.
Some of these emotions we perceive so distant and incomprehensible that we feel them as alien.
Out of fear of dependence, that is, fear of becoming dependent on other people, we close ourselves off more and more, risking isolating ourselves and losing balance. By moving away from Love, we get out of the “seedbed” and unknowingly slip into a dark and terrible spiral of loneliness, a vicious cycle that leads us to the rejection of our emotions and thus increases the distance between us and the attachment that every living being, “from cradle to grave” CANNOT do without.

What is EFIT and what can it do for me?

Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) is an individual therapy approach based on the science of attachment.
If you feel that you fear emotions, if you don’t recognize them, if you don’t feel them at all, if you believe that you don’t need secure attachments, or if on the contrary you know that you would like a secure attachment but life has confronted you with constant disappointments and suffering. If emotions have always hurt you in the end. If you feel too sensitive and lonely. If you experience difficulties related to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe emotional swings, or simply a great sense of isolation, Individual Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFIT) can help you find a safe and positive connection with you, to grow and accept yourself, as Sue Johnson says, to be the best possible edition of yourself.
It doesn’t just reduce symptoms, but-as Sue Johnson writes- “it also points to the growth of the person and aims to establish a better connection with self and others.”

The wonder of this approach is that it will allow you greater openness to the world and people, safely, as it has already helped thousands of clients simply feel “more alive.”

How does it do this?

Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) puts emotional recognition and engagement at the center and runs through three phases (which we will have more to talk about soon):

  • stabilization;
  • restructuring;
  • consolidation.

The outcomes are so positive that this therapy, in all its specifics (couple EFT, individual EFIT, and EFFT for families), while being a science, greatly validated by clinical research, seems almost magical. And perhaps, with a bit of imagination, we can venture to say that magical it really is, because this extraordinary science is based on Love and heals through a special lens: the lens of attachment!

If you feel you want to get to know yourself, want to feel better, need to turn things around, look among the many EFT therapists in Italy for the right person to embark on this journey with you…

And have a good walk.

Pict by Maud Chalard