Enactments in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Shaping Moments of Contact and Change


  • Douglas Tilley, LCSW-C, Private Practice; Gail Palmer, MSW, RMFT, Co-Founder, Ottawa Couple and Family Institute

  • The authors would like to acknowledge the work of Dr. Sue Johnson in making this article possible and to thank her for her mentorship and inspiration.

Douglas Tilley, LCSW-C, Private Practice, 716 Giddings Avenue, Suite 33, Annapolis, Maryland 21401; E-mail: doug@douglastilley.com


Emotionally focused couple therapy (EFT) uses enactments to shape responsive attachment-significant contact and to change couple interaction. In this article, we show how EFT enactments differ from enactments in other therapy approaches, present a theory of EFT enactments, a model for creating EFT enactments, and an extended case example of an EFT enactment.

Video Abstract