Changing Emotions with Emotions


International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy

Training Standards for Certification of Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples Training Program


In order to meet standards, for certification in Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples, therapists will need to have completed a combination of didactic/experiential trainings and supervision.

To begin, therapists must have a professional training in some form of psychotherapy, either systemic or individual models and be an accredited practitioner. Note this includes Master’s level or above.

Didactic/experiential trainings will include:

  • Introduction to basics of theory including emotion theory, and systemic/interactional theory.
  • Discussion of 3 systems (attachment, identity, attraction/liking) underlying couple interactions.
  • Distinguishing and working with attachment and identity. 
  • Empathic attunement to affect
  • Working with alliance issues in couples.
  • Discussion of different types of cycles.
  • Thorough and detailed discussion of 5 stage, 14 step model.
  • Working with emotional injuries, betrayal and forgiveness.
  • Self-soothing.

Level A - Completion of Basic Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples Training

  1. Didactic/experiential: the equivalent of 8 days of instruction.
  2. Supervision: (a) At least 3 days group supervision (with presentation of at least one couple for 1 hour); or (b) five hours of one-on-one supervision of own work with at least 2 couples.

Level B - Completion of Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples Supervised Practice.

  1. Basic Level A.
  2. Direct Personal Supervision of own work (review of recordings of sessions): minimum of 16 hrs, with at least 2 couples, in group or individual format. Up to 6 hours of EFT for individual supervision can be counted toward Level B supervision.
  3. Carry out a total of at least thirty EFT-C sessions of EFT including work with at least two different couples.

Level C. - Certified Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples Therapist

  1. EFT Level B: Completion of Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples Supervised Practice
  2. Evaluation of EFT Therapist Skills
    • Each training programme will decide if it wishes to certify therapists, which would be a level between Completion of EFT Supervision and Certified EFT-C Supervisor. 
    • Certification attests to the fact that a therapist’s practice has been evaluated and judged to be competent by an EFT supervisor
    • Trainees who have completed this certification process will be listed on the training programme website and in the ISEFT website as Certified EFT Therapist
    • Evaluation of EFT skills is based on demonstration in at least:
      • (a) Two videotaped sessions (involving two different couples) with competent work demonstrated (Translate/transcribe where necessary)
      • (b) Brief case description, including a competent case formulation that accurately describes cycle,
      • (c) One certified EFT supervisor listens to and rates for competence on the EFT Therapist Evaluation Form 
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