Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy & LGBTQ+ Relationships

All the therapists at Therapy With Heart are trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy, and most are engaged in advanced training. Sue Johnson, PhD created the couple’s therapy model, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is based on attachment theory and is the only couple’s therapy that is empirically validated.

This is a different type of therapy than other couple’s therapies because it focuses on the cycle the couple gets stuck in that lead to conflict and disconnection. It focuses on the underlying thoughts, feelings, and unmet attachment needs of each partner during times of disconnection.

It also explores attachment histories and relationship traumas that each partner brings into the relationship from childhood. You may be asking, “Ok, so why is EFT so great?” Well, as an LGBTQ+ friendly therapist, it was important to me to find a model that did not discriminate based on sexuality.

A good example of this is the quote from Sue Johnson’s book, Love Sense, “Connection with a loved one is oxygen for us all”. Regardless of our romantic partner or sexual orientation, we all need connection. We are relational beings and that thrive in secure connections.

Visit our Couples Therapy page to learn more about our ETF approach.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

The EFT model works well for ALL couples and families. The model does not change based on the partners or family members. Because it focuses on what happens to each individual during times of disconnection and the cycle between partners during disconnection, it allows the therapist to focus on the relationship dynamics using the same process for each couple.

The difference with LGBTQ+ clients is that most have more attachment trauma IF their families and friends were not, or are not, supportive of their sexual orientation. Some LGBTQ+ clients have more shame if they were raised being told that engaging in same-sex relationships was “bad” or “wrong”. If this has occurred, the EFT model will help heal these negative beliefs and emotions through exploring history, validating the partners, and creating corrective experiences so that new beliefs and emotions will be created.

Every therapist at Therapy With Heart is an LGBTQ+ ally. Therapy With Heart specializes in couple’s and relationship counseling. We receive calls every day inquiring about couple’s therapy. When I call potential clients back, and it’s a same-sex couple, I often get asked “Are the therapists comfortable working with same-sex couples?” and “What do you do differently with same-sex couples?”

It’s unfortunate that same-sex couples have to ask if a therapist is comfortable working with them because our job as therapists is to be open and non-judgmental with EVERY client. I love being able to tell the clients that we are more than comfortable with same-sex couples and that all of our therapists are LGBTQ+ allies. I then explain the Emotionally Focused Therapy model and why it works well for all couples.

If you are interested in EFT therapy for your relationship, check out this video of Sue Johnson explaining her model.

If you and your partner feel like you keep getting stuck in the same conflicts and are feeling more and more disconnected, Emotionally Focused Therapy will be a good choice for you. Feel free to give us a call at 480.888.5380 and check out our therapist bios!

This post was written by Minon Maier – LMFT

If you have any questions about Therapy With Heart’s EMDR Intensive, please contact us.


(480) 203-2881
8737 E. Via De Commercio, Suite 200 Scottsdale, Arizona 85258