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At some point, most therapists will struggle to achieve progress in the face of the corrosive conflict a couple in deep distress can bring to the therapy process. EFT offers therapists at all levels of training a coherent, evidence-based explanation for the origins and ingredients of couple distress, and a powerful and reliable set of techniques for intervening with couples that might otherwise leave us feeling at a loss for effective therapeutic strategies. With grounding in the wide body of attachment research including the work of pioneers like John Bowlby and Mary Main, and practical guidance specific to couples work based in more recent research by Sue Johnson, EFT provides an empirically validated, powerful set of therapeutic techniques that couples therapists can count on to support their effectiveness with even the most highly distressed couples in their practice.

“I used to dread my sessions with some of my couples – the bitterness and anger were palpable in the room and I often felt helpless to meet either partner’s needs without triggering reactivity and anger from the other. With my training in EFT I feel a much deeper sense of confidence in approaching the high-conflict couples in my practice. I don’t seem to get so stuck anymore – I feel much better able to help each partner explore and share the softer feelings underneath the anger they have been trading back and forth for so many years. For me that means fewer days where I leave my practice feeling drained and frustrated, and great deal more satisfaction and inspiration in my work.” 

“Getting trained in EFT is the best thing I have done for myself my practice and myself as a therapist since graduate school. Not only do I feel inspired and empowered by the new techniques I can bring to bear on my work with couples, I have increased not only my referral stream but my access to regular consultation and collegial connection”.


EFT Training


Four-Day Externships in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy are held in San Francisco and other centers throughout the USA.  Externships are taught by Dr. Sue Johnson and/or the ICEEFT certified trainers.

The 4-day EFT Externship is the entry point for therapists looking to gain a basic understanding of EFT theory and technique, and build their competence in working with couples. A pre-requisite for all other trainings as well as for certification, the EFT Externship consists of lecture, interactive discussions, role plays, video demonstrations and live session consultations and provides introductory training in all aspects of the model. During the Externship participants learn to understand relationship distress from an attachment perspective, in order to help partners communicate effectively about the emotional underpinnings of their relationship conflict and identify their typical negative cycle. As part of this introductory training in all aspects of the model, participants become familiar with EFT’s explanation for couple distress, and with the key steps and stages in EFT treatment.  Externships offer multiple opportunities to practice core techniques associated with each of the model’s steps and stages, including techniques for helping couples co-create new bonding interactions, and emotion-focused clinical skills for use with clinical impasses.  Upon completion of the Externship, participants will have made significant gains in their ability to serve as EFT “process consultants” to their couple clients, and are qualified to offer “Hold Me Tight” EFT Couple’s workshops for clients.

See the complete schedule of upcoming Externships series here >>  


Upon completion of the Externship, the Core Skills Advanced Training provides an opportunity for therapists to deepen their understanding of EFT theory and build their competence with EFT techniques. Core Skills consists of a series of four 2-day training modules that take place over 6-8 months. Modules 1 and 2 cover Stage 1 of EFT couples therapy and Modules 3-4 cover Stages 2 and 3 of EFT Couple Therapy.

  • Module 1: Focused on the first two steps of EFT Stage 1, the first module focuses on couple relationship assessment, the creation of a strong and effective working alliance, and skills necessary to support couples in mapping their negative interactional patterns.
  • Module 2: In Module 2, participants build their competence in using key EFT techniques to support couples in de-escalating conflict by identifying, accessing, sharing and understanding the vulnerable emotions for that underlie each partner’s role in their negative interactional pattern.
  • Module 3: At this stage of training, participants build on the de-escalation skills developed in the first two modules and deepen their mastery of techniques for enhancing closeness and promoting acceptance and trust between partners, primarily by supporting deep sharing and engagement from the more withdrawn partner.
  • Module 4: In the final module, participants practice using the same techniques for enhancing closeness and trust by encouraging vulnerable and more emotionally sensitive expressions of need from the more anxiously attached partner. Additionally, participants learn to support couples in the Stage 3 of EFT which involves consolidating gains from Stages 1 and 2 in order to create a deep and sustainable sense of trust and satisfaction in the relationship.
See the complete schedule of upcoming Core Skills series here >>

In order to reach ICEEFT’s “Additional Training” status (“A”), participants also will need to complete eight hours of clinical individual supervision.  (See, item 3 below).


Individual and group supervision in EFT/EFFT is conducted by Certified EFT Supervisors and approved supervisor candidates. Participants must receive a minimum of 8 individual supervision hours to apply towards certification. Group supervision can also be accessed through teleconference, Advanced Externship, or Core Skills training.  Many clinicians find presenting in a group format adds to their training experience. 

4. Level Three — CERTIFICATION

The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) certifies EFT therapists, EFT supervisors and EFT trainers. Clinicians wishing to become certified will submit an application packet to ICEEFT for review and approval.  Certification promotes excellence in the practice of EFT and EFFT and ensures maintenance of ICEEFT’s standards in both supervision and training of this approach.  Complete details of certification requirements are here »


There are a variety of training opportunities available throughout the Bay Area provided by Certified EFT Supervisors and Trainers.  If you are a member, make sure you are subscribed to the listserv to receive information about events, groups and supervision. If you are a non-member, please submit your email address to ncceftinfo@gmail.com to be put on our mailing list.


Every 3 months NCCEFT conducts a quarterly meeting which includes networking and a two hour continuing education program on an EFT topic.  Quarterly meetings are free to members, broaden our clinical experience, and introduce EFT clinicians to each other, fostering the community and connection we model for our clients. View our quarterly meetings calendar here »


Each year NCCEFT hosts a two day fundraiser in which an EFT Certified Trainer presents in depth on an EFT topic.  In recent fundraisers trainers have presented on topics such as trauma, addictions, and sexuality in the context of EFT.  Visit our events page for news on upcoming fundraisers.


Movie Matinees are offered roughly six times per year.  At Matinees participants will watch EFT training tapes and participate in a discussion led by EFT Certified Supervisors.  Subscribe to the NCCEFT listserv for announcements about upcoming Movie Matinee events»


NCCEFT is in the process of adding one-day workshops on topics related to EFT couples or family therapy.  Visit our events page to see all upcoming trainings.

Get in Touch

775 East Blithedale Ave. #625

Mill Valley, CA 94941


In association with the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

NCCEFT is a professional association of therapists practicing Emotionally Focused Therapy in Northern California. Serving communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, and beyond; we have members throughout California and throughout the United States.
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