Seminar Detail

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): Evidence-Based Interventions for Your Distressed Couples
Monday, December 9, 2019 at 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically validated approach grounded in attachment theory that provides a clear road map for helping partners to reconnect, repair and rebuild their bonds (Johnson, 2004).

In this workshop, join EFT trainer Kathryn Rheem, Ed.D., LMFT, colleague of Dr. Sue Johnson, and learn a step-by-step procedure for helping couples move from negative patterns of interaction to greater openness and deeper intimacy with each other.

Attachment distress and the resulting arguments between partners is one of the most powerful forces in our clients’ lives. This distress is emotionally disruptive, hard to contain, and unpredictable for clients and clinicians alike.

Emotionally escalated couples are frequently our most challenging clients. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), based on adult attachment, offers a clear map to work with and shift escalated couples. Reactive emotion, a hallmark of attachment distress, is fast-moving, hard to contain, and keeps couples stuck in a negative pattern. Accessing and sharing vulnerabilities, a key to creating healthy attachment, can look easy but is challenging. Sharing vulnerabilities with each other creates the bonding moments needed to re-structure their bond.

  1. Communicate “the laws” of human bonding and how the laws operate in adult love relationships for purposes of client psychoeducation.
  2. Assess for attachment injury and trauma history in presenting couples as it relates to case conceptualization.
  3. Summarize the stages, steps and interventions of EFT to be utilized in a clinical setting when working with couples.
  4. Articulate the “stuck” places couples encounter that perpetuate negative cycles and emotional disconnection in love relationships, and utilize this information to improve clinical outcomes.
  5. Increase treatment effectiveness by adapting the EFT model to different clients, including escalated, traumatized, and depressed partners.
  6. Utilize clinical exercises to shape new bonding interactions for couples that can redefine connection, forgiveness and change working models of attachment.

State of Couple Therapy: The New Science of Attachment
  • The map to basic relationship emotions and needs
  • Understand and contain distance and distress
  • Shaping responsive bonding
  • Understand love relationships – invaluable to the therapist
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): Structure, Moves and Interventions
  • The three stages of EFT
    1. De-escalation
    2. Restructuring Attachment
    3. Consolidation
  • Key change events
Interventions: Experiential and Systemic
  • Reflection of emotional process
  • Validation
  • Evocative process questions
  • Deepen and distill emotion
  • Interpretation - conjecture
  • Reflecting interactions – feedback loops
  • Reframing
  • Shape enactments
  • Contain enactments that go awry
Tasks of EFT: Outline, Video Viewing, and Exercises
  • The core tasks of EFT
  • Build an alliance
  • Reprocess and distill emotion
  • Choreographing new interactions
Difficult and Attachment Injured Clients: Discussion and Exercises
  • Dysregulated, escalated, and shut down, dismissing clients
  • Attachment injuries (i.e. affairs) – Relationship traumas that destroy trust
  • A proven model for forgiveness and reconciliation
The New Era of Couple Therapy
  • Growing into and applying the EFT model
  • Gaining confidence in EFT – Maximize effectiveness in your practice
  • Key changes and challenges in the field of couple therapy
Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Psychiatrists
  • Addictions Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Clergy
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Kathryn Rheem, Ed.D., LMFT, Director of the Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (WBCEFT) for the last 7 years, has trained hundreds of mental health clinicians in EFT nationally and internationally. She has been a student of EFT since 2002, has been using this empirically-validated approach exclusively in private practice since 2005, and continues to study and learn the model daily. Along with her mentor, Dr. Sue Johnson, originator of EFT, Kathryn’s best teachers of this humanistic, attachment-based model are the couples she works with weekly in private practice.

Together, Sue & Kathryn created Strong Bonds, Strong Couples, LLC, which provided EFT-based weekend retreats for soldiers & marines coming home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their partners at military installations in the U.S. and abroad. Kathryn has trained U.S. Army Chaplains & European Regional Medical Command in EFT and consults monthly with the U.S. Veterans Administration.

Kathryn trains and presents EFT regularly at many locations in U.S. including the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, AAMFT Annual Conference, state divisions of AAMFT, and EFT Summit and has taught EFT in Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Germany.

She works extensively with couples where one or both partners have endured trauma and has written and presented on the application of EFT with trauma numerous times. In addition to the application of EFT with trauma, Kathryn has a special passion for working with and teaching the Withdrawer Re-engagement process. For her doctoral dissertation, Kathryn completed the first analysis of Withdrawer Re-engagement, and she enjoys teaching clinicians how to come alongside and work with Withdrawers.

Kathryn was voted a Top Couples Therapist in Washington, D.C. by the Washingtonian magazine in December 2012. A clinical fellow and approved supervisor of AAMFT, she has written 9 articles/chapters on the application of EFT.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Kathryn Rheem is the director of the Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (WBCEFT). She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Kathryn Rheem has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 6.0 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

This activity is designed to qualify for 6.25 continuing education hours.

This intermediate activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

South Carolina Counselors: CE credit is available. This program has been approved for 6.0 continuing education hours by the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists. Provider #4540.

Maryland Counselors: This intermediate activity is approved for 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. The Maryland Board of Professional Counselors recognizes courses and providers that are approved by the NAADAC. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to counselors who complete the program evaluation, to submit to their state board.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 380 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
American Nurses Credentialing Center Logo
PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Nurses in full attendance will earn 6.3 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Psychologists & Psychiatrists

PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PESI, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The following state psychologist boards recognize activities sponsored by PESI, Inc. as an approved ACCME provider: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin. This activity consists of 6.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Certificates of attendance will be issued for you to submit to your state licensing board to recognize for continuing education credit.

Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2020 - January 27, 2023. Social Workers completing this course receive 6.25 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 380 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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