Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFCT) is an empirically validated therapy, based in attachment science (Johnson, 2019). This workshop comprises two closely related parts.
Part 1 gives a brief overview of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), its overall model and key interventions. The repair of attachment injuries (Johnson, Makinen & Millikin, 2001; Johnson, 2005; Makinen & Johnson, 2006) will be outlined. The course also orientates participants to the influential role of Carl Rogers (1961), John Bowlby (1969,1973; 1980) and Magda Arnold (1960) in the theoretical foundations of EFT. A clinical clip of a recording with a couple presenting with infidelity will be shown to introduce the audience to the validating, respectful style of EFT work with couples traumatised by infidelity.
Part 2 will discuss the specific emotions of hurt, jealousy, guilt and shame which are typically targeted in the Attachment Injury Repair Model. The process of repair will be outlined and recordings from work with two couples will be shown. The role of forgiveness of partner and self in the repair process will also be considered. This workshop aims to provide an overview understanding of the experience and repair of infidelity-related injury. This will include recognition and de-escalation of negative patterns of interaction involving hurt, shame and anger, and support to enable partners to share their vulnerable emotions with each other, in order to facilitate healing.
After the workshop, participants will be able to recognise an attachment injury in a distressed couple, and have foundation skills in healing the pain of infidelity in couple relationships. Readings will be provided to strengthen understanding of this important topic for relationship therapists.
This practical workshop is delivered in a multi-modal format including immersive and experiential training via role-play, group activities, and observation in addition to traditional teaching strategies.
This workshop is suitable for mental health professionals interested in working with couples:
- Social Workers
- Family Therapists
- Medical Social Workers working in hospitals and medical institutions
- Psychologists and Counsellors
2 sessions of 4 hours each.
Part A: Emotionally Focused Therapy with Couples
- Participants will learn about EFT as attachment theory in practice.
- Participants will learn the 3 stages and 9 steps in Emotionally Focused Therapy, moving couples from distress to integration.
- Participants will also understand the influence of the work of Magna Arnold, Carl Rogers and John Bowlby in the development of EFT.
- Participants will be able to identify key interventions in EFT, and know how to use them to create an EFT Tango (key interventions within a session)
- Participants will view a clip of an EFT trainer working with a couple distressed by a recent betrayal.
Part B: Working with repair of attachment injury
- Following recommendations of the Attachment Injury Repair Model, participants will be informed about the key emotions of hurt, shame, guilt and fear. Processing these emotions with a view to healing the pain of the of the attachment injury will be explained and demonstrated with clips of recordings with two couples.
- The significance of heartfelt apology and sincere forgiveness in resolving attachment injuries will be discussed. Forgiveness of self and other will be briefly considered.
Arnold, M. B. (1960). Emotion and personality. New York: Columbia University Press.
Bowlby, J. (1944). Forty-four juvenile thieves: Their characters and home life. International Journal of Psychoanalysis , 25, 19-52.
Johnson, S. (2019). Attachment theory in practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families. The Guilford Press New York London
Johnson, S.M. (2005). Broken bonds: An emotionally focused approach to infidelity. Journal or Relationship and Family Therapy, 4(2/3), 17-19
Johnson, S.M., Makinen, J. & Millikin, J. (2001). Attachment injuries in couple relationships: A new perspective in impasses in couples therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 27, 145-155.
Makinen, J. & Johnson, S.M. (2006). Resolving attachment injuries in couples using EFT: Steps toward forgiveness and reconciliation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 1055-1064.
Rogers, C.(1961). On Becoming a Person. Boston Houghton Mifflin.