An Overview: Emotion-Focused Therapy For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is felt by everyone once in their lifetime. However, teenagers and adolescents coping with anxiety result in depression, substance abuse, alcohol addiction, and social functioning difficulties. Read more and find out how emotion-focused therapy really works and helps people out with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.


How Do EFTs Help With General Anxiety Disorder?

Emotion-focused therapy used for generalized anxiety disorder, also called focusing-oriented psychotherapy,  deals with clearing emotional blockage through focusing. It is an awareness practice that allows an individual to perceive bodily sensations of his feeling. This way, mental health professionals can address your issues, whether it be generalized anxiety disorder or any type of mental health problem.

“Anxiety is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous,”

Monique Reynolds, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist.

What Is Therapy And How Does It Help You?

Anxiety does not occur instantly. It is usually a combination of different happenings in an individual’s life. Here are some examples of where it starts:

  • Transitioning from a student to a working adult
  • Illness of a person close to him
  • Fear of separation from a partner, friend, or family
  • Problems in school
  • Being bullied

When people experience these kinds of problems, it usually results in stress.

Some symptoms include panic attacks, stomachaches and headaches, being uncomfortable in social situations, and experiencing unwanted thoughts and sensations. “You feel very much the way you do when in a dangerous situation…[but] there’s no real danger there,” clinical psychologist Robert Duff, Ph.D. says. If this happens, your disorder is not healthy.

Ways that EFT can help solve your generalized anxiety disorder:


  • First, your therapist asks if client to notice which parts of her body are affected once the mental health problem is experienced. It could be felt in their stomachs (whenever they feel butterflies inside), arms and legs (numbness), and chest (whenever their heart constricts). In some cases, they may feel it all over their body. This kind of embodied understanding is called “felt senses.”
  • The client is asked to process his/her physical sensation bit by bit. They may describe it in detail, attach an image to portray it, or find the right names for appropriate definitions.
  • Once processed, clients are assisted in making deep contact with the feeling of uneasiness. Deep contact refers to acknowledging the sources of your disorder, feeling the pain of these sensations, and identifying the factors that can ease it. This slow journey allows the bodily sensations to naturally shift into a deep inner resolution.

How Is It Different?

Emotion-focused therapy treats a patient as the center. Therapists are available to guide all clients in processing inner feelings. Such professionals do not come up with interpretations of patients’ feelings or offer advice on how to overcome it.

Also, it does not also adopt practices of other classic mindfulness approaches. This therapy allows all clients to experience any pain in their bodies to resolve it, as compared to acknowledging it and letting it go afterward, which is what the traditional mindfulness practice does.


This kind of approach caters to individuals experiencing darkness in their lives. Therapists will not direct them to the light. Rather, their respective therapists will hold the lanterns that can serve as their guide in finding paths to deep inner resolution.

Wanna Try Emotion-Focused Therapy For General Anxiety Disorder?

You can also do this at home, as a self-help coping mechanism, before going to treatment. “The other most effective thing we can do when we need to calm the nervous systems and our physiological threat response is to calm the breath. Controlled breathing has been shown to activate the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system which can help turn off the threat response,” according to Alicia H. Clark, PsyD.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can you distinguish EFT from CBT?
  2. What type of therapy is best for generalized anxiety disorder?
  3. What is the idea of the 3 3 3 anxiety rule?
  4. What are the stages of EFT?
  5. Is generalized anxiety disorder curable?
  6. What are the two cognitive techniques that are utilized for managing GAD?
  7. Can cognitive behavioral therapy effectively treat GAD?
  8. Is emotion-focused therapy a branch of CBT?
  9. How long do EFT sessions for GAD take?
  10. When do you see positive changes in EFT?