Full Course Description

Dr. Sue Johnson's Intensive Course in Emotionally Focused Therapy: Attachment-based interventions for couples in crisis

Program Information


  1. Explore the history and development of attachment theory
  2. Question traditional therapeutic approaches and cultural norms for couples
  3. Describe the laws of attachment and how they apply to couple therapy
  4. Develop and practice effective responses to typical couple presentations
  5. Assess for attachment injury and trauma history in presenting couples
  6. Characterize the common styles of couple engagement
  7. Structure a supportive and secure therapy framework
  8. Reframe critical or angry expressions as expressions of attachment fear
  9. Model safe attachment as surrogate attachment figure
  10. Categorize interventions as appropriate for progressive stages of therapy
  11. Formulate potential interventions for couples in case demonstrations
  12. Manage common blocks or regressions in therapy
  13. Divide overwhelming emotions into manageable experiences, “slicing it thinner”


  • Session 1: On Target Interventions
    • The state of couple therapy and the new science of attachment
    • Understanding the map to basic relationship emotions and needs
    • Exploring the theory and laws of affect
      • The consequences of human biology and neuropsychological development
      • The evolutionary perspective on the importance of attachment and family relationships
      • The structure of attachment relationships: emotional accessibility, responsiveness and engagement
    • The five basic moves or relationship drama
      • Reach
      • Protest
      • Turn away
      • Meltdown
      • Reconnect
  • Session 2: The EFT Model
    • Research on outcomes and change
    • The tasks of EFT
      • Building an alliance
      • Reprocessing and distilling emotion
      • Choreographing new interactions
    • The three stages of EFT
      • De-escalation
      • Restructuring Attachment
      • Consolidation
    • The five basic moves of the EFT therapist
    • Experiential and Systemic interventions
  • Session 3: A Walk Through Stage 1 of EFT
    • Stage 1: De-escalation
      • Establishing trust, safety and hope
      • Defusing unrealistic expectations
    • Mastering the assessment process
      • Examining personal attachment history and childhood patterns
      • Exploring the couple attachment history
      • Identifying styles and addressing varied attack and withdraw combinations
      • Reviewing methods of assessing underlying emotions, relationship commitment, and nonverbal cues
    • Case Study: Addressing alternative relationship interpretations
  • Session 4: A Walk Through Stage 2 of EFT
    • Stage 2: Restructuring the relationship bond
      • Accessing implicit needs, fears and models of self
      • Translating messages the partner can hear and understand
      • Identifying and expressing attachment needs effectively
        • Using repetition, imagery, and connection to facilitate expression
      • Accomplishing bonding events in the therapeutic setting
    • Case Study: Beginning openness, expression, resilient coping and bonding with trauma survivors
  • Session 5: Turning to Sexuality
    • The attachment frame on sex and affairs
      • Understanding the social expectations for sexuality and long-term relationships
      • Examining the central importance of feeling desired and valuable
      • Exploring the types of sexual engagement
      • Normalizing challenges and physical difficulties
      • Leading successful discussion of difficult topics
    • Attachment injuries (i.e. affairs)
      • Relationship traumas that destroy trust
      • Creating and communicating a healing narrative
      • When healing attempts worsen the rift
    • Case Study: Attachment injury
  • Session 6: Working with Difficult Couples
    • Dysregulated, escalated, and shut down, dismissing clients
      • Working with trauma couples
        • The persistence of symptoms and cumulative impact
        • Establishing a secure base for post trauma individuals
        • The relationship between PTSD, trust and sexuality
      • Intimate partner abuse
        • Asking about fear and addressing safety
        • Violence and threat assessment
      • Escalating couples
        • Trusting the model as a safe-haven
      • Case Study: The escalated couple and the partner with PTSD

Risking, Reaching and Responding: Transforming Relationships in Stage 2 of EFT

Program Information


Introducing the process of change in stage 2 EFT

Identifying the primary goals of stage 2

The elements of successful resolution of Stage 1

                The de-escalation skills needed for more direct expression of needs

                Softening the blaming of partners

                New models of self, partner, relational competence and affect regulation

                Predictors of successful outcomes

Clinical Demonstration 1: Working to help a withdrawn partner re-engage


Clinical Demonstration 2: Helping a blaming partner to distill fears and reach for partner


1. Articulate the seven steps of the EFT process and how it applies to clinical practice

2. Evaluate couple readiness to move through the stages and steps of the EFT process

3. Substitute effective attachment requests for confused, angry, or counterproductive expressions

Copyright : 01/01/2017

Soothing the Threatened Brain: Using Attachment Science to Create Bonding, Satisfying Relationships with Sue Johnson, Ed.D.

Program Information


  1. Identify the framework of attachment that can lead to constructive dependency in your clients.
  2. Determine the implications of insecure attachment in couples and family therapy.
  3. Utilize clinical strategies to improve therapeutic presence with clients.


  • About Dr. Sue Johnson
  • Current EFT Research
  • Attachment
    • Perceiving Threat
  • Solitary Confinement
  • Constructive Dependency
  • ECR: Experiences in Close Relationships
  • Technology and Relationships
  • The Fundamentals of EFT Training
    • Being present with the client
  • Military Couples
  • “Emotional Music”
    • Emotional Balance

Copyright : 01/01/2018