Emotion-Focused Therapy: A Critical Approach

2018 WordsFeb 26, 20188 Pages
“Emotions! Emotions! They’re our devotion!” would be the chant uttered by therapists who align themselves with emotion-focused therapy. Derived from both the humanistic and experiential traditions and relying upon the client-centered approach, emotion-focused therapy is a time-limited, process experiential psychotherapy that regards emotions as the primary vehicle of change (Watson, Goldman, & Greenberg, 2011). The effectiveness of emotion-focused therapy has been demonstrated through randomized clinical trials comparing emotion-focused therapy with alternative methodologies, such as client-centered and cognitive-behavioral therapy (Watson et al., 2011). Analyzing emotion-focused therapy from a critical framework illuminates its “range of convenience” and the additional mechanisms that could contribute to a client’s progress and outcome. The principal goal of emotion-focused therapy is to restructure maladaptive emotional responses through recognition and exploration of emotional experiences. (Watson et al., 2011). Emotion-focused therapy draws upon a certain optimism which is distinctly characteristic of the humanistic tradition (Cain, 2010). Based on this approach, it is surmised that the client has the ability to recognize and change the parts of his life that are causing him discomfort (Rogers, 1961). With specific regard to emotion-focused therapy, the client has the capacity to recognize, explore, and transform the emotions that are inflicting misery and
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