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Emma Sherwood​


Emma is a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee and dual degree graduate student at California Baptist University earning a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministry and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology.

Clinical Supervisor

Ilese Buchanan, LMFT 103846

Why Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) ?

Buchanan Family Foundation desires to support the relational health of marriages knowing that a strong, positive and loving relationship shared between husband and wife will enable the children and family to be healthier and more successful, which has consistently been demonstrated through various studies

Judeo-Christian theology is one of the biggest proponents for healthy relationships within marriages and families. These values are a part of the core tenets of Christianity, and provide a way for love to be restored. Unfortunately, communities of faith experience barriers to access evidenced based treatments that specifically address the negative outcomes of emotional detachment.

Therefore, we knew that if the goal of Buchanan Family Foundation was to reach the underserved to offer relationship counseling,  we had to use EFT because it marries so well with a Judeo-Christian worldview. It was for this reason, that we purposed in our hearts to provide therapy services that promote and preserve relationships that are safe and secure as the Good Lord intended us all to experience

from the very beginning.

What does a therapist do in EFT?

Implementing EFT is an approach that will result in helping clients focus on how they experience their relationships emotionally. 

Your therapist's role in couple therapy will be to identify the system of the whole relationship, its patterns and how you and your partner get stuck in negative patterns.  Your therapist will help change the negative patterns into clearer signals of need and better interpret the core message the pair of you have been trying to communicate and understand all along.

Your therapist will constantly be creating safety in the session to create more positive bonding patterns that result in increased emotional security and closeness. By focusing on the present experiences in session, your therapist will help bring about change and new moments of bonding by:

  • Reflecting the present process of negative relational patterns within and between you and your partner
  • Exploring the emotion hidden under the negative relational patterns to clarify the true primary emotion
  • Encouraging expression of the clarified message and new emotions of need between you and your partner
  • Promoting safety and success through processing and debriefing about the new experiences
  • Validating and integrating the new successes of therapy into the relational patterns of your relationship

Your therapist's role in individual therapy will be to help:

  • Increase awareness of your body's physiological cues (dissociation, body pain and discomfort) that send a signal to you of emotional distress or the perception of an emotional threat
  • Identify barriers to learn from emotional wounding that may cause you to feel paralyzed, stuck, or cause you to stuff, deny and fragment feelings when in relational conflict with others or experiencing mixed feelings about a relationship.
  • Develop the ability to take action and move forward from emotional wounding with a stronger sense of self, healthy dependence and self-motivation
  • Increase acceptance of yourself as lovable, in the same manner that God finds you lovable.
  • Increase a healthy and reasonable view of others that are in fact, trustworthy and safe

What happens in a typical couple counseling session?

The goal of your therapist is not to help you and your spouse/betrothed fight more fairly or negotiate more equitably and increase satisfaction with one another. The goal is to create a secure emotional bond with your spouse/betrothed. The end result will bring about more satisfaction, intimacy, trust and all the other benefits of experiencing a more secure bond with one another within 8 to 20 sessions.

The research results of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) have given us a reliable way to follow this process and recreate or develop for the first time a secure bond with your partner as God has intended and purposed for you to have.   

The wisdom and truth of the Bible with the science and research of EFT gives your therapist a map to find and discover what matters most in your intimate relationship, help you understand and provide clarity as to how your relationship works and goes wrong, and ultimately find what is needed to rightly restore your relationship.

What happens in a typical individual counseling session?

Relationship counseling for individuals is appropriate for anyone that is experiencing relational problems with a family member, friend, co-worker, etc. This relationship distress may be with someone that is actively in your life, estranged or deceased.  Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) will address the aftermath of  negative relationships and issues or concerns related to one's ability to connect with others.

Your therapist will use EFIT to consistently promote safety that creates an environment for you to have a corrective emotional experience. You'll explore ways to be vulnerable with yourself and others that you have not experienced before. Moreover, your therapist will enable you to experience life's biggest questions and doubts from the security, level ground and hope that lies within a Biblical Worldview. 

EFIT echoes and holds the position that we find in the Bible, that we are made for relationships. When we have been wounded by our attachment figures who were supposed to fulfill their role to provide safety and support it presents an opportunity for us grow or creates dysfunction. 


We are so​ grateful that you have decided to include us in taking the first step to rightly restore your relationship with a beloved other.

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