Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) provides a well-researched map for helping couples grow closer and deal with relationship conflicts. The EFT model is based on Attachment Theory, the Science of Love and Emotions and Humanistic Psychology. EFT helps couples move from relational distress and disconnection to safer, more connected relationships.
Relationships can be a cause of stress and pain or a source of comfort and joy. EFT therapists help partners understand more clearly each other’s deepest emotions and attachment longings and fears. However, feelings are often hidden, unexpressed or misunderstood. EFT therapists help partners access, deepen and communicate their feelings to each other in heart-felt moving ways.
In the EFT Externship, therapists will learn how to view relationship distress through an Attachment lens and to focus their attention on attachment needs and longings. Therapists will learn how to pay attention more closely to the emotions of their clients and to explore, heighten and expand underlying emotions. Therapists will also learn and practice how to facilitate new couples therapy conversations that increase their couples’ feelings of secure attachment, closeness and connection. The goal of the San Francisco Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy is to train therapists to attune to their clients better, by tuning their therapeutic ear to the emotions of the relational dance.
When couples are in distress, some couples disagree, fight and repeatedly engage in negative patterns of blaming, criticizing, defending and withdrawing. In a patterned fashion, this often leads partners to fight, avoid, distance, emotionally or physically withdraw or to become detached from each other. The focus of EFT is to understand the underlying, often unspoken reasons and attachment-related significance and impact of these patterns and to help partners to express their vulnerable emotions to each other.
Traditional types of couples therapy tend to be open-ended, focus on behavior change, teach negotiation and communication skills or minimize the importance of interdependence. In contrast, the EFT approach hones in on increasing a couple's attunement and empathy in order to build trust and create a safe haven and secure base. In EFT, we focus on helping couples create and build more secure bonds with each other. We help partners turn to each other when they are most vulnerable, and we foster accessibility, responsiveness, and emotional engagement when partners take the risk of expressing their underlying feelings and needs.
In the EFT approach, couples learn to recognize the negative cycle that keeps them stuck where often one person pursues and criticizes and the other responds defensively or withdraws or both pursue or both withdraw. Couples learn to identify the needs and fears that keep them in that negative cycle and they learn to identify and express their underlying emotions in a way that transforms the repetitive negative cycle into a more positive and secure relationship that enables the couple to more easily resolve their problems on their own.
Partners learn to empathize with each other and become more supportive when they experience the others vulnerability expressed in clear and poignant ways. By learning how to be more accessible, responsive and emotionally engaged (A.R.E.), partners create a more secure and loving bond.
In the EFT Externship, you will learn how to help your couples deal with their feelings together, reach towards each other, and be responsive in more loving and positive ways. You will learn by watching videotaped and live demonstrations of the approach and you will practice via experiential exercises and role plays.
The four-day EFT Externship is the first step towards developing an in-depth understanding of Emotionally Focused Therapy and learning this model of couples therapy.
The SFCEFT Externship is recognized by the International Center for Excellence in EFT (ICEEFT) and completion of the four training days can also be used for Continuing Education credit (30 CEU's) and towards your Certification as an EFT therapist.