EFT Course

A Modular Certified Course

Essentials of Attachment theory and its clinical application to relational therapy with couples, families and individuals (within a framework of Emotionally Focused Therapy [EFT])

Take part in this highly practical clinically-oriented course, learn to work with difficult emotions and turn them into an effective agent of change using the structure of the EFT model, understand the essence of couples’ conflictual patterns of interaction and help your clients re-navigate negative relational cycles into a safe connection and intimacy.

Attachment theory provides us a guide into how humans form emotional bonds with close others and can help us understand how our fears, needs and longings guide our behaviour with others. It provides therapists with a roadmap into how to help couples, families and individuals go from despair and distress to loving safety and connection.

Warning (unintended side effect):

You’ll be helping your own relationship in the process as well!

What is EFT?

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Developed by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 80’s, EFT has been acknowledged as one of the most thoroughly researched, clearly delineated, and empirically validated approaches in the field of couple therapy. Built into Emotionally Focused Therapy approach is the science of human connection – how we reach for others and seek a Safe Haven and Secure Base with those most significant to us.

Unique to EFT is identifying the “negative cycle” of relationship or insecurities associated with personal distress. The cycle often includes repetitive arguing with no resolution, painful emotional attacks towards each other and unbearable periods of withdrawal and silence, or on a personal level easily triggered anger, anxiety or plunging into the ‘darkness’ of depression.

The couple gets caught up in this negative dance of ‘Demon Dialogues’ which takes on a life of its own as it gains momentum, causing the partners to view each other as enemies.

EFT helps partners identify their habitual patterns of blame and distancing and where the misunderstandings are.

They begin to appreciate their own and their partner’s vulnerability to be able to speak a deeper truth of what they are feeling and needing in the relationship. EFT shows couples that love comes from feeling that your partner is emotionally available to you, that what is important can be shared and received and that you are special and important to them.​

 The Results:

EFT has been successfully applied to many different problems such as relational distress, infidelity, depression, chronic illness, grief and loss, and past trauma, across various cultures, with traditional and non-traditional families, and with gay and lesbian relationships.

  • A history of success: After 12 to 20 sessions, 70 to 75% of people move from distress to recovery; 90% show significant improvement.
  • Long-lasting positive results in follow-up studies.

For EFT resources click here

For EFT research click here

What is EFT (Dr Sue Johnson) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCg-jC25fo

Love Sense: from Infant to Adult – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyCHT9AbD_Y

Starting October 2023

This Course is open to:

  1.  All qualified (or currently on a qualifying course) psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers who wish to learn more about how to work with difficult emotions and habitual negative interactional patterns your clients bring to you (within a framework of Emotionally Focused Therapy [EFT]).
  2. Those trained in EFT and wishing to brush up their skills in this highly practically oriented course and see many examples of real clients’ sessions with commentaries of EFT interventions from your experienced tutors, EFT therapists and supervisors.

Please, NOTE: this Course is NOT a substitute for a formal ICEEFT certification as an EFT therapist.

At a Glance 

A 12-module clinically focused highly practical course, 130 hours of direct teaching and independent studies Accessible from anywhere in the world via ZOOM

Course accredited and certified by NCP

Video extracts of real clients’ sessions with famous EFT trainers and clinicians, with commentaries of interventions along the way

DEEP DIVE extra modules Certificate of Completion approved by NCP

Each module recorded(?) (apart from clients’ sessions) for an independent review for 6 months(?)

Course duration: Oct 2023-Mar(?) 2024

Frequency: monthly for 6 months on Saturdays 8.45am(?)-5pm (London time)





Course structure

  • 12? monthly modules – a combination of didactic teaching, watching videos of real clients’ sessions, highly practical exercises, role plays of interventions and skills
  • Small case supervision groups monthly for 2 hours (5-7 people) with your tutors, highly experienced ICEEFT certified EFT therapists and supervisors
  • Office Hours for individual dilemmas and questions (2 hours fortnightl)
  • Independent study in preparation to the modules and case presentations for Office hours or supervision groups
  • Final test leading to a Certificate (80% right) – 50 Qs?

Why will you want to study with us?

A safe space to become ‘friends’ with and explore emotions, your own and your clients’, understand negative cycles of interaction of your clients (and in your own relationship too!)

Focus on clinical practice and your therapeutic needs – any question welcome, big or small

A kind and encouraging continuous feedback from your highly experienced tutors and a group

Observation of demo sessions before you try your hand in interventions and skills

‘Try it Yourself’ practical exercises and role plays of skills and interventions on the basis of the material of real clients, or your own examples

Watching real clients’ sessions by the best EFT clinicians and trainers with the moment-by-moment process analysis of interventions and skills

What will you learn?

Essentials of Attachment theory and its relevance to the clinical practice and therapeutic work

  • How to create a safe and accepting space where your clients can share their difficult emotional experience – ‘safe haven and secure base’ (Bowlby)
  • Neuroscience- and evidence-based theory behind this highly effective model (EFT)
  • Better understand your clients’ (and your own) attachment style and the role they play in human connection
  • How to hear emotional messages through the frame of attachment and learn the ‘attachment language’
  • What kinds of emotions we can work with and how we can access clients’ deeper vulnerabilities for healing and repair
  • How to understand relationships and your clients’ internal emotional world through the lens of attachment, learn to identify clients’ habitual patterns of blame and distancing and how to re-navigate them into closeness and connection
  • How to work with painful, distressing, or reactive emotions and regulate a negative affect
  • What is EFT Tango?
  • To work effectively with a range of various presenting problems, for example, frequent conflicts, reactivity and anger, ‘passive aggression’, betrayals, sexual difficulties within the attachment frame, and avoidance of emotions
  • Review live video-recorded sessions with famous trainers working with various populations
  • Master effective therapeutic tools that can be immediately applied to your clinical work
  • Try It Yourself in role plays and exercises to feel confident taking it to your consulting room

What else is included?

DEEP DIVE extra modules – 2 hours each (Pre-recorded)

  • Polyvagal Theory and EFT – some time earlier?
  • Trauma – LV – before affairs?
  • IFS and EFT – before EFIT

Meet your Trainers


What will we be teaching you?

Modules’ Schedule – to start at 8.45am because of Connecting groups


Connecting/reflective groups 30min at the begining of each module – reflections on what you took from the previous module, how it integrates with your existing ways of working.

7th Oct

We will begin by a brief introduction to the overall course and after that focus on the theoretical foundation of attachment theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy model (EFT).

We will cover topics such as:

  • What is attachment theory and what does it mean for our interactions with others?
  • What is emotionally focused therapy (EFT)?
  • Assessment and contracting in EFT
  • Structure of EFT
  • How we can integrate the basics of EFT with other major therapeutic approaches (e.g., psychodynamic, systemic, humanistic).
  • Show videotapes of assessment in EFT

We will provide a brief introduction to working with relationships: expectations for therapists and for couples, awareness of countertransference, relationship as the client. We will learn to shift our individual focus to working specifically with the relationship as our client. In the latter half of the module, we will focus on how to work with relationships from the perspective of diversity and equality. While attachment theory is universal, its expression can differ in different cultures and there can be good reasons for why there are these differences. We will discuss working on diversity in terms of class, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, family/relationship type etc.

11th Nov

There are two main groups of interventions in EFT:

  1. Experiential – Access, expand & reorganise key emotional experiences:
  • Validation
  • Empathic reflection
  • Evocative questioning
  • Deepening by Heightening
  • Empathic conjecture
  • Empathic therapeutic disclosure
  1. Systemic – Creating new patterns of interaction:
  • Track and reflect partners’ ‘Dance’ and the impact,
  • Reframe – attachment meaning, cycle,
  • Shape interactions in enactments,
  • ‘Slicing risk thinner’

We will give you an understanding of what EFT Tango is and how we work with it throughout stages and steps in the EFT process, will discuss elements of emotion, their significance and how to work with them in assembling emotion in EFT.

We will watch video recordings of EFT sessions, practice our hand in role plays/exercises.

In this module, we will go deeper into the process of therapy and how to work with clients in Stage 1 of EFT.

You will learn:

  • The steps in Stage 1
  • How to identify the negative interaction cycles
  • How to work to de-escalate the cycle.
  • How we apply the major interventions of EFT in Stage 1.
  • We will discuss the change events that we are expecting to see and what markers we can notice to see when couples are ready to move to Stage 2 of EFT.

‘Where Are You…? Where Am I…?’
How Does Polyvagal theory inform EFT Clinician?

Since Stephen Porges proposed his Polyvagal Theory (1994), which linked the role of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in managing risks and safety through changing our physiological state to the emergence of Social Engagement behaviour, it has arguably become one of the most promising and innovative developments to impact the therapy world in the past 25 years. Built into Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) approach is the science of human connection and love, how we reach for others and seek a Safe Haven and Secure Base with those most significant to us. Developed by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 80s, EFT sees emotional closeness, safety and intimacy at the core of a loving and meaningful relationship. Unique to EFT is identifying the “negative cycle” of relationship or insecurities associated with personal distress, that often shows up in repetitive arguing with no resolution, painful personal emotional attacks towards each other and unbearable periods of withdrawal and silence (“Protest Polka”, “Find a Bad Guy” or “Freeze and Flee” cycle).

Therapy through a polyvagal lens supports clients in re-patterning the ways their Autonomic nervous system operates when the drive to survive competes with the longing to connect with others, especially in relation to trauma and/or affect regulation. It was called ‘Science of safety’ (D. Dana, 2018), science of feeling safe enough to fall in love and take the risks of connection, which is also the major tenet of EFT approach.

This workshop is BEYOND neuroscience, attempting to show the ways of integrating Polyvagal Theory and EFT in our clinical practice:

  • Getting to know your Nervous System. Polyvagal Ladder.
  • To communicate clinically relevant features of Polyvagal Theory.
  • Why distressed clients continually move through an enduring cycle of fight or flight mobilisation, numbness and disconnect?
  • Polyvagal and EFT. Where do they meet?
  • Why we access primary emotion for change in EFT?
  • How to apply polyvagal lens and EFT in re-patterning the ways the ANS operate when the drive to survive competes with the longing to connect with others?
  • How  To access clients’ Social Engagement System to co-regulate and help to shift their experiences and personal narratives to feeling heroic and not victimised?

16th Dec


“Actions Speak Louder…Enactments demystified”.

All you need to know about Step-by-Step Stage 1 Enactments with clinical examples, and your Qs answered – ‘Tell-Show-Do’ approach.

  • “Enactments are unpredictable, unreliable and outright scary…” Why Enactments at all?
  • How to create successful enactments?
  • Let’s Tango together – ‘Enactment ‘Dance’, Felt Sense of being in the moment.
  • General types of Enactments across the model – clinical examples,
  • How Enactments are similar and different at every Stage and Step of the model (mainly Stage 1) – clinical examples, video clips of real sessions,
  • Exits, Balks, Rebuttals, ‘Yes/Buts’, Escalations…and other ‘Scares’ along the way,
  • ‘Catching Bullets’ – Respond or Pre-empt,
  • Take it Home and Do It Yourself – Exercises, Role Plays, some of your fears and blocks…

13th Jan 2024


There are two key change events in EFT approach:

  1. Withdrawer Re-engagement
  2. Blamer Softening

Withdrawer Re-engagement is when a previous distant, inhibited, defended, stonewalling partner emerges and engages with their partners through enactments in session.

In Attachment Terms:

  • The withdrawer now becomes accessible and able to stay emotionally engaged with self and the other.
  • S/He can coherently express his hurts, fears, the models of self and other cued by these emotions.
  • S/He can reach for – ask for response s/he needs from the partner and begin to actively shape the relationship.

Example: “ I have been so afraid. So afraid of not meeting your standards. I’ve shut you out. I’ve numbed you out. I didn’t know what else to do. So I got paralyzed. But I do want us to be close and I don’t want you to hurt, to be lonely. I am not going to walk on eggshells anymore. I want to do this now. I want us to try.”

We will learn how Enactments can be choreographed for the Withdrawer Re-engagement change event.


  • De-escalation of negative cycle (Stage 1)
  • Withdrawer re-engagement.

A previously hostile, critical spouse accesses ‘softer’ attachment significant emotions and risks reaching out to his/her partner who is engaged and responsive. In this vulnerable state, the previously hostile partner asks for attachment needs to be met.

At this point, both spouses are attuned, engaged and responsive. A bonding event then occurs which redefines the relationship as a safe haven and a secure base.

Example: “I am so afraid that I will hurt even more if I ask. It’s so hard for me to ask. It’s terrifying for me. I need to know you will respond. That you won’t let me crash and burn. Can you hold me, or reassure me when I am afraid?”

We will learn how Enactments can be choreographed for the Blamer Softening change event.

Where Does It Begin? Healing and Connection in IFS/IFIO & EFT

The Self is like an orchestra conductor who helps all the parts to function harmoniously as a symphony rather than a cacophony.’ – Dr Bessel van der Kolk

Both EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) by Dr S. Johnson (the 1980s) and IFS as in Internal Family Systems (Intimacy From Inside Out, IFIO for couples) by Dr R. Schwartz (early 1990s), arguably are the two of the fastest growing therapy approaches in the world. Both are powerful evidence-based experiential therapeutic models focusing on intrapsychic and interpersonal processes in individuals and couples, and allow for the relational and personal healing and growth. Briefly, IFS outlines that we each contain a central Self (Core Self, My Self, Spiritual Self, Soul) and many Protector parts (Managers and Firefighters).

It appears that these two modalities, EFT & IFS, present two perspectives on the most intriguing dilemma in psychotherapy – where does the change come from and begin with, what is primary? Is it internal resourcefulness, self-regulating ability which does the trick and lets one to find a good satisfying relationship – or is it developing of a secure attachment and co-regulation in your relationship first that then helps get rid of one’s own defences and reactivity?

Dr R. Schwartz suggests that in IFS ‘attachment theory is taken inside’, where client’s core undamaged Self becomes a ‘good attachment figure’ to client’s own parts. It feels that these two compelling models can be complementary for some clients or couples and there is a scope for integrating both approaches in a creative way in your clinical practice.

This brief seminar will give a concise introduction to key elements of IFS/IFIO framework, and will compare and contrast EFT and IFIO for couples therapy with relevant case examples.

Workshop objectives:

  1. Outline the IFS/IFIO protocol and framework for couples therapy.
  2. Who is in conflict and who is fighting?
  3. “From self-protection to safe connection” (L. Phillips) in IFIO
  4. EFT and IFIO: commonalities and differences.
  5. Where the connection comes from? Attachment and Self-leadership.

Resources and references:

Brief description – https://theweekenduniversity.com/internal-family-systems-therapy-an-introduction/

Becoming Whole (R. Schwartz) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNtussFaYC0

Internal Family Systems Couple Therapy (Skills Manual), Toni Herbine-Blank, Martha Sweeze, 2021,

Internal Family Systems (Skills Training Manual, F. Anderson, M. Sweeze, R. Schwartz, 2017

17th Feb

EFIT is an attachment science based approach to individual therapy that, similar to the other EFT modalities, EFCT for couples and EFFT for families, is focused on reshaping intrapsychic experience and systemic interventions modifying patterns of engagement with significant others.

What is unique about EFIT?

The most obvious way that EFIT differs from EFCT is that emotionally transformative dialogues focus on a client’s interaction with the therapist, with representations of attachment figures, and/or aspects of self. This powerful EFT modality brings together the intrapsychic and the interpersonal  experience of our individual clients. As their safe “other”, we help them explore their presenting issues as manifestations of their emotion regulation strategy, and as recurring, painful cycles. They start to feel a sense of validation and personal agency in their most painful places.
Emotion is accessed and reprocessed to draw out deepest fears and longings, and views of self and other emerge and become open for modification. Enactments are then used to shape powerful corrective emotional experiences, which create a more flexible responsiveness to others and a deeper sense of self-acceptance.
Students will learn:
1. The difference between Stage One (Stabilization) and Stage Two (Restructuring)
2. Move through the five tango moves as they apply to individuals:

  1. Track and reflect clients’ internal and external cycles so they can become aware of how they shape and experience their world.
  2. Assemble and deepen emotions as a guide toward unmet attachment needs
  3. Learn how to shape enactments in Stage 1 (Stabilisation)  and security-enhancing Corrective Emotional Experiences in Stage 2.

In this module we focus specifically on how to work with families with EFT and how we can incorporate elements of EFT in working systemically with families.

You will learn about:

  • The similarities and differences between working with couples and working with families
  • Patterns in family interactions
  • Assessment in family therapy
  • How to make decisions on which relationship(s) to focus on first (decision tree)
  • Steps and stages of EFFT
  • Expected change events

We will watch a role play of family therapy in action and will practice via roleplay in small groups.

Many of our clients come to therapy with a history of trauma. EFT is well suited to help clients with trauma histories due to its focus on moving clients from anxiety and fear towards trust and safe, loving connections with others. Clients can learn to recognise and regulate their emotions in a way that helps them to be in the present moment rather than being swept away in a sea of emotions.

In this deep dive workshop, we will talk about:

  • How to recognise trauma
  • How to work with clients with trauma histories using EFT
  • How to help clients learn to recognise and regulate their emotions
  • What are the special considerations of working with trauma clients
  • How to go even slower

23rd Mar


We will talk about ‘what makes a couple ‘a couple’, exclusivity and infidelity, impact & consequences of an affair, different motivations for and types of affairs (S. Woolley), what are your beliefs/ personal experiences of affairs, some myths around affairs. We will discuss secrecy and disclosure of affairs, and treatment of affairs as Attachment Injuries.

Trauma of infidelity may present sometimes as an Attachment Injury, that is seen in EFT as a betrayal of trust / abandonment at crucial moment of need. It is a form of relationship trauma, which defines the relationship as insecure and creates and impasse in repair process, which then blocks any trust between spouses. It becomes a ‘Violation of human connection” (Herman, 1992).

Attachment significance is key – not the content of an affair. It creates and indelible imprint in the psyche, where the only way out is the way through.

Do your couples bring up issues around sex and you’re not sure what to do? Is this content and should you just focus on the process, or should you address the sexual concern head on? Sex is when we’re at our most vulnerable, trusting our partner to not hurt us in the moments when we’re open and literally in their hands. For some reason sex and couples therapy evolved separately even though, for the most part, sexual dysfunctions are only a problem when with a partner rather than when alone.

In this module, we will cover:

  • When to address sex explicitly
  • Introduction to understanding sexuality, sexual difficulties, and sexual desire in long-term relationships
  • Attachment styles and sexual relationship
  • The sexual cycle
  • Interventions for sexual issues
  • Sexual issues such as attraction/compatibility, previous trauma, and use of pornography.

We will practice how to explain different techniques to couples and how to combine the behavioural techniques with the exploration of emotional issues within the relationship.


  1. The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, 3rd ed. By Susan M. Johnson, Brunner-Routledge, 2021
  2. Attachment Theory in Practice: EFT with Individuals, Couples and Families by S. Johnson, 2019
  3. Becoming an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist.
    The Workbook by S. Johnson, B. Bradley, J. Furrow, A. Lee, G. Palmer, D. Tilley, S. Woolley (Brunner-Routledge, 2022)
  4. A Primer for Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT), by S. Johnson, L. Campbell, 2022
  5. Hold Me Tight by S. Johnson, Piatkus, 2011
  6. Love Sense by S. Johnson, 2013
  7. The Emotionally Focused Therapy Casebook, ed. J. Furrow, S. Johnson, B. Bradley, 2011
  8. Stepping into EFT by L. Brubacher, 2018
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