There so many kinds of therapy that it sometimes becomes confusing when trying to define what therapy really is. However, therapy certainly includes thoughts, feelings and behaviour. When you have a psychological problem and you can’t find the solution on your own, this may be because there are a large number of factors influencing this process. These include: life events, genetic factors, education, intellectual and social-emotional characteristics, personal temperament, cultural background, etc.


A therapist can, apart from understanding you, help you to find where the problems come from and to develop suitable skills to move forward with your life. A therapist is someone who is trained professionally for this purpose.

At Zelf in Relatie we prefer to work with therapeutic techniques, based on scientific research and which are therefore evidence-based, such as: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Stichting EFT Nederland

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Empirical studies have shown that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an effective treatment for various mental and physical problems, among others: chronic pain, anxiety, phobias, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, work related problems and problems related to phase of life issues

ACT commonly employs six core principles:

  • Cognitive defusion: Learning separate cognitions (thoughts and beliefs) from behaviour.
  • Acceptance: Allowing thoughts to come and go without struggling with them.
  • Mindfulness: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
  • Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self.
  • Values: Discovering what is most important to one's true self.
  • Committed action: Setting goals according to values and.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotionally Focused therapy (EFT), also known as Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) is an empirically supported humanistic treatment that arose out of emotion theory and attachment theory. It views emotions as centrally important in the experience of self and strives to establish a better emotional interaction pattern between the two partners.

The theory was developed by clinical psychologist Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg and is based on three perspectives: the attachment theory, the experiential (inter-psychological) and systemic (interpersonal) perspective.Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1988) states that everyone has the primary need to attach itself to others: parents, your partner, your children. This innate attachment needs, and the associated fear of separation and isolation, is a primary motive for our actions.

The purpose of Emotionally Focused Therapy is to improve emotional availability (responsiveness) between partners. In this process, the focus lays on attachment behaviour of the partners and their need for safety, trust and contact.