Emotion-focused therapy for trauma (EFTT) is an evidence-based, short-term, individual therapy for adult clients dealing with issues stemming from child abuse trauma.
In this program, Dr. Sandra C. Paivio is featured in a clinical demonstration of EFTT, and further outlines its strategies for reprocessing trauma feelings and memories and working directly with emotional processes to bring about client change.
EFTT posits that the therapeutic relationship and emotional processing of trauma memories are mechanisms of change. By emphasizing access to previously inhibited adaptive feelings and meanings, the clinician and client can use the adaptive information associated with these emotions to modify maladaptive meanings associated with fear, avoidance, and shame.
In Emotion-Focused Therapy for Trauma, Dr. Paivio works with a young woman who has a history of trauma and current symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Paivio first works to establish an alliance with the client to build safety and collaborate on the tasks and goals for therapy, then helps the client to allow the painful feelings and memories associated with traumatic events. Dr. Paivio helps her to express her anger at violation and sadness at loss, accessing self-soothing resources and compassion for self in the process.