Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT) Core Skills

“Core Skills” (also known as “EFCT Core Skills Training”, “Core Skills Advanced”, and “Basic Core Skills”) is an advanced training in the EFT for Couples (EFCT) stream. There are also equivalent courses in EFT for Families (EFFT) and EFT for Individuals (EFIT) streams.


Core Skills Advanced Training requires that participants have completed a 4-day Externship. Core Skills Training led by a Certified EFT Trainer comprises four 2-day events that occur over the space of approximately one year and is limited to 12 participants or up to 16 if there is a second Trainer or Certified EFT Supervisor leading the group. In the overall context of the EFT Tango, each 2-day session is dedicated to specific steps of the model and the therapeutic tasks and interventions characteristic of those steps. The training includes a minimum of 48 hours of in-depth instruction, practice, and feedback, culminating in a crucial step towards EFT certification.

Beginning in 2024 a Basic Core Skills Training will also become available. Basic Core Skills is a reformatting of the Advanced Core Skills to comprise a total of 24 hours of training: 12 hours dedicated to Stage One and 12 hours dedicated to Stage Two. The training can be offered online or in person by an ICEEFT-Certified Trainer. Just like the Advanced version, Basic Core Skills workshops are considered core training and one of the requirements for certification in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Applicants for certification are required to attend the full 24 hours. Upon completion of the full 24 hours, trainers will issue Basic Core Skills certificates to participants.  

Participants are required to present their own work through audio/videotape presentation. Registrants will be required to declare their professional designation.

Please note: While both the Basic (24hr) and Advanced (48hr) versions of Core Skills qualify toward ICEEFT Certification, participants must complete one or the other. In other words, participants in an Advanced Core Skills may not simply stop after 24 hours and receive a certificate of completion. The pacing of the curriculum for each version of Core Skills is not the same.

What will I learn in “EFCT Core Skills”?

  • Deepen your understanding of the EFT model and its application in couple’s therapy.
  • Develop EFCT skills through a combination of instructional review, skill demonstrations, and live session observations.
  • Engage in hands-on practice of EFT techniques and exercises.
  • Receive individual feedback on your EFCT skills development via case presentations.
  • Delve deeper into the EFT tango, understanding its application within different stages of therapy.
  • Apply the EFT model through role-plays and discussions, aiming towards certification.

Who is this training for?

Core Skills training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is designed for mental health professionals who seek a deeper mastery of EFT for couples therapy. This includes psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, registered marriage and family therapists, counsellors, and specialists in abuse and addiction. Participants are required to be a member of a mental health professional organization and currently working, or in the process of training to work, with couples in their clinical practice. The program equips participants with advanced skills in applying EFT’s therapeutic techniques and interventions, essential for those on the path to becoming certified EFT therapists.

Prerequisites & Sequence

EFCT Externship must be completed prior to taking EFCT Core Skills.

Required reading: The Practice of Emotionally Focused Therapy: Creating Connection (3rd edition, 2020) by Sue Johnson. Routledge.

Recommended reading: “Becoming an Emotionally Focused Therapist: The Workbook (2nd Edition)” by James L. Furrow, Susan M. Johnson, Brent Bradley, Lorrie L. Brubacher, T. Leanne Campbell, Veronica Kallos-Lilly, Gail Palmer, Kathryn Rheem, Scott R. Woolley, 2022. Routledge.

Upcoming “Core Skills” Events

Core Skills: Advanced 3 ~ Carolinas, USA

Image Description
Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Lorrie Brubacher US - Carolina English March 8, 2024

Core Skills 3 Utilizing the EFT Tango in Stage 2 to Shape Withdrawer Engagement We explore markers of stabilization in EFCT and how to use emotion to transform a romantic relationship into a safe haven and a secure base, shifting view of self and other. In particular Core Skills 3 focuses on how to engage a withdrawn partner to step more fully into the relationship and to ask for what they need to remain engaged in a unique form of Move 3 and 4.

Core Skills Training ~ San Diego, CA, USA

Image Description
Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Kathryn de Bruin US - Tri EFT Alliant English March 14, 2024

Dates Module One: March 14 & 15, 2024 Steps 1-2 Assessment Module Two: May 2 & 3, 2024 Steps 3-4 De-Escalation Module Three: June 27 & 28, 2024 Steps 5-6 Withdrawer Re-Engagement Module Four: August 8 & 9, 2024 Steps 7-8 Pursuer Softening Times-All Modules Thursday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm (Pacific Time) Friday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm (Pacific Time) 30 minute lunch break

Core Skills Training 1 & 2 ~ Online (Chile)

Image Description
Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Natalia Gilabert Other Spanish March 14, 2024

Core Skills 1 & 2 with Trainer Natalia Gilabert from Argentina. Online, organized by TFE Chile

Core Skills Training 3 ~ Mexico, in Spanish

Image Description
Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Ali Barbosa Mexico Spanish March 22, 2024

March 22 and 23, 2024

Time 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. (CDMX time)

Core Skills Training: Advanced ~ Online (Colorado, USA)

Image Description
Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Robert Allan US - Colorado English March 29, 2024

MARCH 29/30, MAY 17/18, JUNE 21/22, JULY 12/13

Core Skills: Advanced 2 ~ Online (San Diego, CA, USA)

Image Description
Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Scott Woolley US - Tri EFT Alliant English March 29, 2024

Module One: March 29 & April 5, 2024 Steps 1-2 Assessment
Module Two: June 14 & 21, 2024 Steps 3-4 De-Escalation
Module Three: August 30 & September 6, 2024 Steps 5-6 Withdrawer ReEngagement
Module Four: October 18 & 25 2024 Steps 7-8 Pursuer Softening

Friday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm (Pacific Time)

30 minute lunch break