Discursive of Tunbridge Wells

Understanding Emotion


Understanding Emotion

Anna Oldershaw interviews Les Greenberg the founder of Emotion-Focused Therapy


What is the role of emotion in distress? Les Greenberg, the founder of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) has spent 30 years developing a therapeutic approach which aims to help people become aware of, regulate, accept, express, and transform emotional experience. Who better then to talk to about the place of emotion in psychotherapy and in life? During a visit to us last summer Les talked to our colleague Anna Oldershaw about some of these things. The interview (which you can hear below) touches on the genesis of EFT, how elements of Les’ own life have influenced it and its roots in Humanistic and Gestalt ideas. Les talks extensively about how we understand emotions and how approaches to change (such as Cognitive Behavioural and Mindfulness) do and don’t address them directly. He even has a few things to say about the emotionally repressed Brits.


Here are some links to things we discussed in the show and to further reading.

A link to an article further describing EFT by Les Greenberg


Drawing on humanistic and gestalt traditions, EFT employs a range of therapeutic tools including chair work. This chapter describes one form of chair work (‘empty chair’) to address unfinished business in relationships.


More information about EFT internationally can be found from the International Society for EFT (ISEFT)



We are running further EFT courses throughout 2018:

  • EFT level 1 in May (with Robert Elliott)
  • EFT level 2 and EFT for couples both in July (with Les himself)
  • EFT approach to Parenting and Emotion Focused Family Therapy both in September (with Joanne Dolhanty)

For further details contact Gaynor McCracken here.


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