Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFCT)

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) is a short-term structured approach, encompassing 8 to 20 sessions, established in the 1980s based on attachment science. It employs a humanistic, experiential approach to restructure emotional experience, alongside a systemic structural approach to amend interactions. Extensive research underpins EFCT’s effectiveness, showcasing substantial treatment effect sizes with enduring results. EFCT has been utilized successfully across diverse settings and with various couples facing challenges like depression, anxiety, or forgiveness dilemmas. It’s employed across North America, Europe, Australia, among others, with both traditional and non-traditional couples, demonstrating its wide applicability and effectiveness. Discover how EFCT can revolutionize your work with couples by exploring our courses below.

EFCT Courses

By becoming certified in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT), you can significantly enhance your therapeutic toolkit. This certification provides you with a research-supported approach to effectively address the intricate dynamics of couple relationships. As an EFCT therapist, you’ll be able to facilitate deeper emotional connections and improved communication among couples, bolstering your professional expertise and increasing your appeal to clients seeking meaningful and lasting relationship transformations.

Fundamentals of Emotionally Focused Therapy | Recommended Step 1

Engage with the essence of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in our one-day Fundamentals of EFT course. Grounded in attachment science, this 6.25-hour workshop provides practical tools to enhance your therapeutic practice across individual, couple, and family modalities. Through didactic presentations, recorded client sessions, and experiential exercises, you’ll explore key EFT concepts and interventions. This course is a stepping stone into the transformative world of EFT, aligning you with effective techniques to address anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. Take this leap to augment your professional skills and make a lasting impact in your therapeutic journey​.

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EFCT Externship | Step 2

An Externship in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy® training is the introductory 24+ hour training in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT) and the first step towards certification. This workshop includes the observation of live and/or video recorded therapy sessions, presentations of theory and clinical techniques, skills training exercises, and discussion of specific cases, clinical material and issues. An Externship will provide you with a roadmap to work with your clients’ underlying emotions and facilitate therapy conversations that increase feelings of secure attachment, closeness and connection.

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EFCT Core Skills | Step 3

EFCT Core Skills is an advanced educational program with four 2-day modules, each focusing on distinct steps of the EFT model, delivered over approximately one year. Limited to 12-16 participants, it offers over 48 hours of intensive instruction, practical exercises, and feedback.

Starting in 2024, a 24-hour basic option will provide focused training online or in-person, covering the two stages essential for certification, with participants receiving certificates upon completion. Both the 48- and 24-hour options qualify as a step towards Certification as an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist.

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Learning and integrating the EFT model includes development of the following skills. This list can be used as a guideline to assist supervisors and applicants to assess for readiness for certification.

Additional specific details and information for each EFT modality (EFIT, EFCT & EFFT) are available on the ICEEFT members website whereas this document is offered as a generic overview.

Alliance Skills

The Steps to Certification in EFCT

Additional Certification Steps

A Certified EFCT Therapist is one whose expertise in this model of therapy is recognized by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT). The primary goals of certification are to promote competence in the practice of EFCT and to ensure maintenance of these standards through both the supervision and training of this approach.

Step 4: Supervision

Minimum of 8 hours of EFCT Supervision which can include up to 4 hours of group supervision.
Connect on the ICEEFT Members site.

Step 5: Application Package to ICEEFT

Submit your application package to ICEEFT for review by a Certified EFT Supervisor and Trainer. Full details are available to ICEEFT Members.

Achievement: Certified EFCT Therapist!

Congratulations, you are a Certified EFCT Therapist! You have completed a major step on a lifelong learning journey.

EFT Resources

EFT Articles

EFT articles offer a wealth of information on this evidence-based approach to couples and family therapy. These articles delve into the core principles and techniques of EFT, showcasing its effectiveness in helping individuals and relationships achieve emotional bonding, improved communication, and lasting positive change.

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EFT Chapters

Emotionally Focused Therapy chapters in other publications often provide in-depth case studies, clinical insights, and practical applications, making them valuable resources for mental health professionals seeking to enhance their therapeutic skills and knowledge in the field of couples and family therapy.

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EFT Books

EFT books serve as invaluable resources for therapists, offering a comprehensive understanding of EFT’s principles and techniques. These books provide practical guidance and real-world examples, empowering therapists to enhance their skills in helping clients build stronger, more emotionally connected relationships.

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Non English

Non-English EFT publications play a crucial role in disseminating EFT principles and practices to a global audience. These publications offer therapists and researchers valuable resources in their native languages, facilitating the international expansion of EFT and enabling professionals to access the therapy’s benefits worldwide.

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Join a Worldwide Community of EFT Therapists

As a member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), you’ll join a global network of over 8,000 professionals, access cutting-edge research, receive our quarterly newsletter, enjoy discounts on training, and increase your visibility through our therapist directory. Benefit from exclusive webinars, forums, and the chance to connect with peers and leaders in Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Whatever your age, race, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ability, language or cultural background, you are welcome.


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About Sue

Dr Sue Johnson

My work is primarily about creating a secure sense of connection with self and with others. Emotion has a deep logic to it, and we can learn to use it as a compass to guide our steps as we move with others through life.
Backed by years of research, my team and I want to help everyone learn about the revolutionary science of attachment and bonding. Growing emotionally and finding attachment at the heart of our humanity – what’s more thrilling than that?

Learn more about Sue at