Monday, April 16, 2018

Narrative Processes in Emotion-Focused Therapy for Trauma, Chapter 2

The second chapter of Narrative Processes in Emotion-Focused Therapy For Trauma is entitled "The Unique Contributions Of EFTT." EFTT is an acronym for Emotion Focused Treatment For Trauma.

The authors Sanda Paivio and Lynne Angus review some of the main features of EFTT and research findings on its outcomes.

They point out that the four steps to the emotional change process are: awareness, regulation, reflection, and transformation.

Awareness requires the development of an emotions taxonomy. What do I call these feelings that I experience? The therapist and client need to develop a shared vocabulary. Good therapists follow the lead of the client in naming his/her emotions. As I tell my clients, "If you can't name it, you can't manage it. So naming what you are feeling and the problems in emotional management is 90% of improvement. Without the taxonomy we are lost in incoherent, ambiguous, confusing sea of emotions and acting out. Parents tell children who are very emotional, "Use your words. Tell me what's wrong?"

The phases of therapy in the EFTT model are: developing a therapeutic alliance; experiencing emotions; coaching on emotional regulation management skills; identifying intrapersonal emotional conflicts such as self- criticism, self censorship, self interruption; re-experiencing skills such as recovering memories, clarifying distorted perceptions, helping with incomplete and incoherent processing; and identifying interpersonal patterns with primary attachment figures.

When the Narrative model is added to EFTT, stories about maladaptive and adaptive coping skills can be created, developed, and changed. Externalization of problems leads to identifying external circumstances and discourses that encourage and maintain problem development. Naming these factors allows for the opportunity to manage them effectively in satisfying directions. Storying of emotions and their manifestation is crucial for management, regulation, and developed of preferred futures.

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