Changing Emotions with Emotions

International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy 

Minimum Training Standards for Individual Therapy Training Programs 

(12 June 2015 Version)


  1. The isEFT Board has created minimum standards for training programs in order for the program to be recognised as an isEFT certified training that meets criteria for training in EFT.
  2. Approved training institutes need to ensure that the minimum criteria are met. They also determine any additional criteria specific to the needs of their training program. They also administer the issuing of certificates of levels of training and supervision attained and if they choose any certification of therapists who come under their training program according to the standards set by the training program as relevant to their context.
  3. There are 5 levels of recognition and also the possibility of certification.
    • Level A: Completion of Basic EFT Training
    • Level B: Completion of EFT Supervised Practice
    • Level C: Certified EFT Therapist
    • Level D:  Supervisor
    • Level E: Trainer 
  4. Given the many years it takes to train as a therapist and more specifically as an EFT therapist and the numerous general and specific components of being a good therapist, we believe that a process of certification requires in-depth training. Given that some people in some contexts are interested in getting certification as quickly as they can it is important for training programs to note that training in EFT to the level of basic training will take the equivalent of a minimum of 8 days depending on people’s background training, while training to the level of supervised practice will take at least a further 16 hours of direct personal supervision. ISEFT recognises people who have been supervised as EFT therapists as able to offer EFT therapy but does not certify them as competent or not. Training to be a certified EFT therapist, a supervisor or trainer, however, attests to an evaluation of competence and involves further intensive in depth training and supervision beyond minimum basic training and supervised practice. This will take many years involving a significant amount of supervision, practice, and personal experience. Those people who have undergone certification will have been evaluated as demonstrating competence. 
Associate Member
Any qualified professional can join isEFT and be listed on the isEFT website as an Associate Member without completing the levels listed below.

Level A: Completion of Basic EFT Training

Individuals who have completed this level of training will be listed on the training programme website and in the isEFT website as isEFT members on the basis of having Completed Basic EFT Training (as long as their dues are currently paid up and they agree to be listed). Completing training does not guarantee competence. 

  1. Participants should have a minimum prior training: Must have a professional training in some form of therapy and be an accredited practitioner.  If not humanistic-experiential therapy (eg person-centered, focusing-oriented, gestalt), recommend additional empathy and person centered training. It is recommended that for therapists who have no prior training in humanistic-experiential therapies, a module focused on empathic tracking, listening, and responding be included in the training.
  2. Basic didactic/experiential workshop training (=Levels 1 & 2): Minimum 8 days (but can be longer), run by certified or approved EFT trainers, covering at least: 
    • Empathy/relational skills
    • Emotion theory, emotion change principles and emotional deepening  
    • Basic markers/tasks: focusing/clearing a space, unfolding, two chair (conflict and self-interruption splits, self-soothing), empty chair 
    • EFT case formulation  
  3. Initial Supervisory Experience:
    • (a) At least 3 days group supervision (with presentation of at least one client for 1 hour); or
    • (b) five hours of individual supervision of own work with at least 2 clients,

      Must be signed off on by their approved EFT supervisor on the basis of actually doing EFT to at least minimal degree and not some other therapy: Global evaluation of criteria 1 – 4 (see Level C, Therapist qualification) at a basic level based on performance in supervision. 

Level B: Completion of EFT Supervised Practice

Trainees who have completed this level of training will be listed on the training programme website and in the isEFT website as Completion of EFT Supervised Practice Requirement. Completing Supervised Practice does not guarantee competence.

  1. Completion of Basic EFT Training [Level A]  
  2. Direct Personal Supervision of own work (review of recordings of sessions): minimum 16 hrs, with at least 2 clients, in group or individual format
    • Must be by approved EFT supervisor. (If group supervision, Count only amount of personal supervision of own work within group supervision.) 
    • Must be signed off by their approved EFT supervisor at a moderate level of skill on the basis of actually doing EFT to at least moderate degree and not some other therapy: Global evaluation of criteria 1 – 5 at a moderate level.
  3. Recommended Practice: See at least two individual clients for a total of at least 60 sessions of EFT including empathy, deepening, tasks, and case formulation. 

Level C: Certified EFT Therapist

  1. EFT Level B: Completion of EFT 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 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 clients) with competent active task work in them (Translate/transcribe where necessary)
    • (b) Brief case description, including a competent case formulation
    • (c) One certified EFT supervisor listens to and rates for competence on the EFT Therapist Evaluation Form 
EFT Therapist Evaluation Form Items 
Demonstration of EFT Skills in:
  1. Empathy
  2. Marker identification
  3. Emotional deepening
  4. Appropriate use of EFT tasks, such as focusing, reprocessing, enactment/active expression work, alliance/interpersonal/relational work  
  5. Ability to think about clients in EFT terms (case formulation, process identification, marker identification, use of experiential formulation responses)

Level D: Certified EFT Supervisor

The local programs will approve supervisors.  ISEFT will list supervisors on its website.

  1. Level C: Certified EFT Therapist 
  2. Prior accreditation as a supervisor; or supervision of supervision; or one or more rounds as assistant trainer (facilitator for skill practice) for level A (EFT 1 or 2) 
  3. Accreditation/approval by an approved EFT Trainer per their judgement


Facilitators assist EFT trainers at training workshops. Facilitators have completed EFT supervised practice (Level B). They facilitate and supervise the small-group breakout therapy skill practice groups during EFT workshops. Facilitators are en route to becoming supervisors or trainers.  

Level E: Certified EFT Trainer

  • Anyone wishing to become a trainer or an Institute Based Trainer from now on will need to apply to the board member most known to them through training who will make a recommendation to the isEFT board for its approval. The isEFT Board will certify trainers.
  • The following are the criteria for becoming a trainer:
    1. Level D: Certified EFT supervisor
    2. Recommendation by an approved EFT Trainer per their judgement on the basis of supervision (planning, review and/or observation) of at least two different half-day EFT training modules 
    3. Attend at least three days of discussion-based supervisor/trainer training workshop; or equivalent supervision or consultation on training
  • Note: Grandparenting of previously trained EFT therapists and graduate students will at present be done on a case by case basis. 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software