Externship in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy® (EFCT)

“Externship” (also known as “Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy®”, “EFCT Externship”, “Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy”) is a training in the EFT for Couples (EFCT) stream. There are also equivalent courses in EFT for Families (EFFT) and EFT for Individuals (EFIT) streams.


An Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy® is an immersive four-day (24+ hour) training experience, foundational for therapists aiming to specialize in EFCT. Led by certified trainers, it offers a comprehensive introduction to the EFCT model, focusing on the science of attachment and the systematic approach to couple therapy. This training is crucial for therapists because it equips them with the necessary skills to foster secure, resilient relationships in therapy. It’s the first step in formal EFCT training, opening the door to advanced practice and certification, enhancing therapists’ efficacy and confidence in their clinical work with couples.

What will I learn in an “Externship”?

  • Participants will obtain a clear understanding of the basic experiential and systemic concepts of an “Emotionally Focused” approach to therapy.
  • Participants will be able to view clients in the web of their interpersonal attachments and conceptualize relationship distress and repair based on theories of attachment and emotion.
  • EFT is a relational therapy. The Externship will focus on the model of EFCT laid out in the 2019 book, Attachment Theory in Practice, and teach the model as implemented in couple therapy sessions.
  • Participants will develop skills in sharing and maintaining an engaged, open and collaborative alliance with clients.
  • Participants will develop skills in the 5 moves of the basic macro-intervention – the EFT Tango – in order to change patterns of affect regulation, models of self and other, strategies for engaging others and interactional patterns.
  • Participants will develop skills in EFT micro interventions taken from experiential and attachment systemic models of intervention.
  • Participants will develop skills in overcoming common blocks and impasses in couple therapy and so shape core corrective emotional experiences that lead to constructive dependency and what Rogers termed ‘existential living.’

Sample Schedule

Day 1 AM
Registration and Check in
Introduction to Externship &  Attachment Science as a Guide for Psychotherapy ― EFIT, EFCT, EFFT
Basics of the EFT Model ― Experiential & Systemic

Day 1 PM
Overview of the process of change ― Stages and Steps
EFT Tango Across Modalities
Exercise or DVD Clip & Discussion

Day 2 AM
Case Presentation: Live Session or Tape Review or Case Role-Play ― Discussion
Assessment in EFIT & EFCT
Alliance Building

Day 2 PM
Stage 1 ― Stabilization / De-escalation of Negative Cycles
Exercise or DVD Clip & Discussion

Day 3 AM
Case Presentation / Live Session or Tape Review / Discussion
Micro Interventions / RISSSC / Catch-the-Bullet / Building Attachment / Slice It Thinner

Day 3 PM
Stage 2 and Change Events
Exercise or DVD Clip & Discussion

Day 4 AM
EFIT ― Goals ― Tango ― Watch DVD Sessions
Forgiveness and Attachment Injuries in EFCT

Day 4 PM
Escalated Couples / Traumatized Individual Clients
Exercises or DVD Clip & Discussion

Comments from past participants

“Thanks so much. It is really a joy to be in conversation and see in practice the humanistic tradition.”

“Thank you for the great learning experience.”

“One of the best workshops I have been to.”

“… Best bang for my training buck in a long time.”

“Excellent learning experience, sophisticated but pragmatic and accessible.”

“I laughed, I cried, I learned.”

“Really a terrific learning experience – exceeded my expectations!”

“In 20 years of workshops and presentations this was absolutely and easily the tops!”

“The Externship was the best training I have ever had! It was fun. It was poignant. It was worthwhile. It made a difference.”

“Brilliant, relevant, entertaining and emotionally enlightening…”

All participants (45 out of 45) gave the usefulness of the Externships top rating (5 out of 5). 99% of all participants gave a top rating (5 out of 5) on the quality of the teaching.

Who is this training for?

All mental health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, family physicians, social workers, psychiatric nurses, counsellors (including couples and family therapists), pastors and clergy, and students training in these professions. School counsellors are permitted to attend if they are licensed and belong to a professional body that has standards of practice for psychotherapy/counselling.

Life coaches are not permitted to attend unless they also meet one of the mental health professional categories listed above.

Prerequisites & Sequence

ICEEFT recommends taking Fundamentals of EFT prior to this course. There are no prerequisites for an EFCT Externship.

EFCT Core Skills follows an Externship.

Required Reading:The Practice of Emotionally Focused Therapy: Creating Connection, 3rd edition, 2020, by Susan M. Johnson. Routledge.

Recommended Readings:
Attachment Theory in Practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families” by Dr. Susan M. Johnson, 2019. Guildford Press.

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 “Externship” Events

Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy® ~ Columbus, OH, USA

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Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Elana Katz Other English March 4, 2024

Join us in Columbus, Ohio, for a supportive and experiential training covering the basics of EFT. Learn how to help clients understand their reactive cycles and create a secure emotional bond. The training will include a focus on the way our clients' identities and context impact their attachment bonds and will include video clips and a live interview, as well as opportunities to learn through supported role play exercises. Please contact Relatio

Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy® ~ Australia

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Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Clare Rosoman Australia - Centre for EFT English March 4, 2024

This externship in EFCT contains didactic teaching about the theoretical underpinnings of the EFT model, the evidence-base for EFCT, the 3 stages and 9 steps of the EFCT model (the EFT road map), a comprehensive overview of the key EFT therapist interventions including the EFT Tango, as well as video demonstrations, small-group activities, and where possible, a live demonstration of an EFCT client session.

Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy® ~ Stockholm, Sweden, in Swedish

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Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Jens Mebius Sweden - Stockholm Swedish March 5, 2024

Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy® ~ Online (Ireland)

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Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
James Parrin Ireland English March 9, 2024

Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy® ~ Online (New Zealand)

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Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Yve Gould New Zealand English March 11, 2024

Join EFT trainer Yve Gould for an EFT Externship ONLINE from Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZ dates: 11-12 & 14-15 March 2024 10 am- 6 pm NZT
US dates: 10-11 & 13-14 March 2024 2pm- 10pm PST

Externship in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy ~ Online (North America)

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Trainer Host Community or Center Language Date
Robert Allan, Senem Zeytinoglu-Saydam North America (Online) English March 19, 2024

This 24hr Externship is focused on EFT for Couples. Please click "event link" for information and to register.
Presented by ICEEFT Courses.