Two years ago, Dr. Ladislav Timulak, a Slovak-born, Irish psychologist, produced an excellent explication of Emotion-Focused Therapy called Transforming Emotional Pain in Psychotherapy: An Emotion-Focused Approach. It draws on the most recent EFT theory, and clearly describes the emotional territory traversed during a successful EFT therapy.
In EFT theory, each folk category of emotion (anger, joy, sadness, fear, etc.) can, in principle, function variously as a primary adaptive, primary maladaptive, secondary reactive, or instrumental emotion. Anyone trained in EFT will tell you this.
In practice, though, we psychotherapists don’t really see all of these theoretical possibilities in our offices. The common forms of core emotional pain — and the sequences of emotional processing that most elegantly facilitate their transformation — are not quite so infinite.
Dr. Timulak, building on the work of Dr. Antonio Pascual-Leone and Dr. Les Greenberg, clears the brush for us, and provides us with clear clinical maps for recognizing and resolving the basic types of core emotional pain with which our clients present.
Irv Yalom once observed that most (nonfiction) books are just bloated essays. I agree, and I’ve always appreciated a well-written, solid book of 150 pages that gets to the point without too much redundancy. I’m happy to report that Transforming Emotional Pain is just such a book.