Changing Emotions with Emotions


International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy

Training Standards Emotion Focused Therapy for Family Training Programs

There are four levels of recognition within Emotion Focused Therapy for families (EFT-F). Clinicians may acquire their basic training through Emotion Focused Skills Training (EFST-F), Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), or other similar approaches that may be available.

  • Level A: Completion of Basic Training in EFT-F
  • Level B: Completion of EFT-F Supervised Practice and possibility of being Certified EFT-F Clinician
  • EFT-F Supervisor
  • EFT-F Trainer

Level A - Completion of Basic Training in EFT-F

Registrants having completed this level of training will be listed on the training program website and recognized as members on the isEFT website- providing that membership dues are up to date and members agree to be listed. Registrants must have an active clinical practice in which they work directly with children, adolescents, parents, or families.

  1. Basic didactic/experiential workshop training: Minimum 4 days

Facilitated by certified or approved EFT-F trainers, including core modules: 

  • EFT-F history and values, emotion theory, and the core didactics of the model (validation, boundaries, repair, working with the parents own emotions)
  • Basic markers and tasks for experiential exercises: two chair (parent-parent), empty chair (parent- child) 
  • Parent workshop and individual parent coaching 

Level B - Completion of EFT-F in Depth Training and Supervised Practice

Registrants having completed the EFT-F Supervised Practice Requirement will be listed on the training program website and the isEFT website. Completion of this level is sufficient to obtain certification, although your local Institute may have additional requirements beyond the minimum standards. Recommendations for Supervised Practice:  Complete your supervised hours with at least two individual families for a total of at least 10 sessions of EFT-F, including chair work, and facilitate at least one parent workshop.

  1. Completion of Basic EFT-F Training [Level A]
  2. Minimum 2-day Workshop
    • Empathy and the Rogerian clinician stance
    • In-depth chair work and skill building in evocative tasks
  3. Direct Personal Supervision of clinical EFT-F practice (review of video recordings of sessions) for a minimum of 15 hrs, minimum of two clients; practice may be in group or individual format
  • Supervision must be provided by isEFT certified EFT-F supervisor
  • Eligibility for completion of Level B must approved by EFT-F supervisor and will require demonstrated skill in EFT-F practice

Certified EFT-F Clinician

  • Each training Institute will decide if it wishes to certify clinicians. At a minimum, certified clinicians would have completed Level B.
  • Certification does not attest to the fact that a clinician’s practice has been evaluated and judged to be competent by an EFT-F supervisor.
  • Trainees who have completed this certification process will be listed on the training program website and in the isEFT website as Certified EFT-F Clinicians.

    Certified EFT-F Supervisor

    The local programs will approve supervisors; isEFT will list supervisors on its website.

    As an EFT-F supervisor, you can guide other clinicians who are undergoing training in EFT-F. To be approved as an EFT-F supervisor, you must take a video exam after the following have been attained:

    • Recommendation by EFT-F Supervisor
    • Certified EFT-F clinician with an active practice for at least 2 years
    • Completion of at least two emotion focused 2-day parent workshops
    • Completion of at least 30 hours of supervision with an approved EFT-F supervisor (you can count the supervision hours from when you were first certified as an EFT-F clinician). At least two of these supervision sessions should be supervision of supervision.
    • Completion of EFT-I Level 1 training
    • Completed a workshop on becoming a competent EFT-F supervisor (minimum 3 hours)

    Criteria for EFT-F Supervisor status is intentionally strict, as isEFT wants approved Supervisors to maintain a high level of adherence to the model. Candidates must have extensive knowledge and experience with the EFT-F model in order to be eligible.

    In order to maintain EFT-F supervision approval, you are required to be active in maintaining your level of competence through attending conferences, supervision, therapy or reading or writing about the model.

    EFT-F Supervisor Video Examination

    • The candidate must submit two videos, each depicting a different intervention with a  different client (20 minutes per video)
    • Each of the videos must contain: a marker, the start of the intervention, important processes during the intervention, and chair work.
    • The candidate must submit a case description for each of the cases. The case description must be 150-250 words per case, including:
    • Identification of the child's presenting difficulties
    • Identification of relevant family dynamics
    • Caregiving style and emotional style of the parent being seen
    • Identification of the emotions preventing the parent from supporting their child and using new approaches; identification of the old strategies or patterns that the parent is exhibiting
    • What is the parent working on? What is the goal of the family therapy/parent supervision?
    • Enter time codes for where the film is to start and briefly describe what has been done so far in the session. Provide a rational for the choice of intervention in the clip in question.
    • The candidate must provide self-supervision: They provide supervision on their own video clip, i.e. it must be answered as if you are the supervisor, not as a clinician. The manuscript must contain two parts:
    • Process supervision where the candidate points out important moments in the therapy and the time they occurred: markers and choice of intervention, good and bad path choices, breach of alliance (relationship, goals, and method), good and less good empathy, and facilitation of emotional activation and experience.
    • General assessment of: the alliance, technical skills, empathic skills, productive process.
    • The candidate must also attach documentation of completed EFT-F education, guidance certificate, and written recommendation from their own supervisor to submit a video exam.

    Rules for video exams:

    • Consent must be obtained from the parents for the use of video in the exam/guidance.
    • The exam cannot be reviewed by your EFT-F supervisor.
    • You may not have received supervision on the videos to be assessed.
    • The results must be available no later than 6 weeks after the submitted exam (additional in case of holiday).
    • Feedback on the exam is given in writing and is assessed as Pass/Fail with an associated explanation, and any areas for improvement.
    • Assessments in three parts:

    1. The quality of personal supervision.

    2. The quality of the videos.

    3. The quality of the case description.

    • There is no option to petition the decision of the examiner; however, you can request a different examiner at your Institute for your next exam.
    • In some cases, several supervisors will assess the videos.

    Certified EFT-F Trainer

    Anyone wishing to become a trainer will need to be invited by an EFT-F Trainer at an EFT-Institute. The EFT-Institutes will certify trainers.

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