Changing Emotions with Emotions


International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy

Training Standards for Emotion Focused Therapy for Youth (ages 9-17) Training Programs

There are five levels of recognition within Emotion Focused Therapy for youth (EFT-Y)

  • Level A: Completion of Basic Training in EFT-Y
  • Level B: Completion of EFT-Y Supervised Practice
  • Level C: Certified EFT-Y Therapist
  • Level D: EFT-Y Supervisor
  • Level E: EFT-Y Trainer

Level A: Completion of Basic Training in EFT-Y

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, or families.

  1. Members must have minimum Master’s level (MA, MSc, M Psy, etc.) prior education and professional training in therapy; they must be an accredited practitioner in the mental health field (may be autonomous or supervised/qualifying practice).

  2. Basic didactic/experiential workshop training: Minimum 4 days facilitated by certified or approved EFT-Y trainers, including core modules:
  • EFT history and values, emotion theory, and the core didactics of the model (emotion change principles, uses of empathy, emotion evocation and arousal, nonverbal behaviour)
  • EFT emotion assessment and case formulation 
  • Basic markers and tasks for experiential exercises: focusing/clearing a space, systematic unfolding, two chair (self-interruption, splits, selfsoothing), empty chair (3 levels for youth)
  • Experiential training in empathic receptivity, responding, and attunement to nonverbal behaviour.
3. Introductory Supervised Practice
  • At least 3 group supervision presentations (in each session presenting at least one client from a standard hour clinical session); OR
  • Three hours of individual supervision of own work with at least 2 clients, demonstrating skill meeting basic level of EFT performance


  • Empathic Responding
  • Marker Identification
  • Emotional evocation/deepening
  • Appropriate use of EFT tasks, such as focusing, reprocessing, enactment, alliance/interpersonal/ relational work

Successful completion must by approved by EFT Supervisor* on the basis of substantial EFT content in the therapeutic practice presented.

*EFT Supervision

With prior approval obtained from the local EFT or EFT-Y institute, EFT Supervisors may be selected from those currently listed on the isEFT website and do not necessarily have to be limited to EFT-Y supervisors.

Level B: Completion of EFT-Y Supervised Practice

Registrants having completed the EFT-Y Supervised Practice Requirement will be listed on the training program website and the isEFT website as having completed the EFT-Y Supervised Practice Requirement. Completion of this level is sufficient to obtain a certification but does not guarantee competence. Recommendations for Supervised Practice: Complete your supervised hours with at least two individual clients for a total of at least 16 sessions of EFT-Y, including empathy, evocative tasks, and case formulation.

  1. Completion of Basic EFT-Y Training [Level A]
  2. Completion of EFT Level 1 Institute
  3. Individual Supervision with EFT Supervisor, including clinical EFT practice (review of video recordings of sessions) for a minimum of 10 hrs, presenting at least 2 clients, in group or individual format
  • Supervision must be provided by approved isEFT-certified supervisor*
  • Eligibility for completion of Level B must approved by EFT supervisor* and will require demonstrated skill in EFT-Y practice at a moderate level
*EFT Supervision

With prior approval obtained from the local EFT or EFT-Y institute, EFT Supervisors may be selected from those currently listed on the isEFT website and do not necessarily have to be limited to EFT-Y supervisors.

Level C: Certified EFT-Y Therapist

  • Each training program will decide if it wishes to certify therapists. At a minimum, certified therapists would have completed Level B.
  • 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 program website and in the isEFT website as Certified EFT-Y Clinicians.
  • Evaluation of EFT-Y skills is based on demonstrated of practice in the following areas:
    1. Two video-taped sessions involving two different clients, demonstrating
    2. competent and active task work (translate/transcribe where necessary)
    3. Brief case description, including a competent case formulation
    4. EFT Therapist Evaluation From completed by a certified EFT supervisor,including ratings of demonstration of the following skills:
    • Empathic Responding
    • Marker Identification
    • Emotional evocation/deepening
    • Appropriate use of EFT tasks, such as focusing, reprocessing, enactment, alliance/interpersonal/ relational work

    Level D: EFT-Y Supervisor

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

    As an EFT-Y supervisor, you can guide other therapists who are undergoing training in EFT-Y.

    To be approved as an EFT-Y supervisor, you must take a video exam after the following have

    been attained:

    1. Certified EFT-Y therapist for at least 3 years
    2. Serving as a facilitator* at EFT-Y Level 1 or 2 training
    3. Completion of at least 30 hours of supervision with an approved EFT-Y supervisor (can include the 10 supervision hours required to become a certified EFT-Y therapist)
    4. Completion of general EFT Level 2 Institute
    5. Recommendation by EFT-Y Supervisor
    6. EFT-Y Supervisor Video Examination

    *Facilitators assist EFT-Y trainers at clinician trainings. They have completed EFT-Y Supervised Practice (Level B) and facilitate small-group breakout skills practice during trainings. Facilitators are en route to becoming supervisors or trainers.

    Criteria for EFT-Y 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-Y model in order to be eligible.

    In order to maintain EFT-Y supervision approval, you are required to receive a minimum of 8 hours of supervision per year, focused on either EFT or EFT-Y therapy and provide at least 14 hours of EFT-Y supervision to other therapists. Facilitator hours from trainings can be included in the supervision requirement; typically, there would be 1 hour of active supervision for each day of facilitation.

    EFT-Y Supervisor Video Examination

    • The candidate must submit two videos, each depicting different intervention with a different client (minimum 20 minutes per video)
    • Each of the videos must contain: a marker, the start of the intervention, important processes during the intervention, and active experiential 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 youth's presenting difficulties
    • Identification of relevant case formulation and notes on emotion assessment
    • Enter time codes for where the film is to start and briefly describe what has been done so far in the session.
    • The candidate must provide a Clinical Write-Up as self-supervision on their own video clip, i.e. the clinical write-up should be written as if you are the supervisor, not as a clinician. The write-up must contain two parts:
      1. Process supervision where the candidate points out important moments in the therapy with a time indication: markers and choice of intervention, good and bad path choices, breach of alliance (relationship, goals and method), good and less good empathy, facilitation of emotional activation and experience.
      2. General assessment of: the alliance, technical skills, empathic skills, productive process.
    • The candidate must also attach documentation of completed EFT-Y supervision and training certificates as well as 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 proctored by your EFT-Y supervisor.
    • You must 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, more than one supervisor will assess the videos.

    Level E: EFT-Y Trainer

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

    The following are the criteria for becoming a trainer:

    1. Level D: Certified EFT-Y supervisor
    2. Completion of general EFT Level 3 Institute
    3. Recommendation by an approved EFT-Y Trainer per their judgement on the basis of supervision (planning, review and/or observation) of at least two different caregiver workshops.
    4. Attend at least four days of discussion-based supervisor/trainer training workshop; or equivalent supervision or consultation on training.

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