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Course Description

Two hands clasped together on a dark wood table.

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT) is an evidence-based model that brings healing to distressed relationships.

Examine the theory and the practice, including the three stages and the nine steps, of EFCT. Gain a brief overview of attachment theory, systematic-experiential process, and their application in EFCT. The focus will be on the skills and clinical practice of EFCT and the format will include didactic teaching, videos, case studies, small group activities, and experiential exercises.

While this course may be used as an elective for the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy program, it does not lead to certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy; however, it will prepare you for such an endeavour.

This course is designed for counsellors, therapists, social workers, mental health workers, and pastoral care/faith-based and other practitioners seeking to build or enhance their practical skills and theoretical foundation in couple and family therapy, as well as those exploring therapy as a career.

This course is typically recognized by CAMFT and AAMFT as a couple/marriage and family therapy or studies course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe and apply the basic concept of attachment theory, including how attachment injuries and traumas affect relationships
  • Distinguish the theory and the application of EFCT, including the three stages and the nine steps
  • Demonstrate competence in capturing the de-escalating the negative cycle of a distressed couple (stage 1)
  • Demonstrate awareness of your own emotions experientially
  • Critique how EFCT may or may not fit within your own value and clinical application

Course Topics

  • The Place of EFCT in the field of couple therapy
  • Basics of the EFCT Model: Experiential and Systemic
  • Theory of Relationships: Adult Attachment Theory
  • Overview of the Process of Change: Stages and Steps
  • Assessment and Alliance: Stage 1
  • Tasks and Interventions
  • Change Events: Stage 2
  • Consolidation: Stage 3
  • Becoming an EFCT Therapist
  • Forgiveness and Attachment Injuries

Additional Requirements

  • As well as scheduled instruction time, you can expect to spend approximately five to ten hours per week on course readings, activities, and/or assignments.
  • Course assignments are completed up to four weeks following the final day of the course.


Assessment Item Weight
Group Presentation 20%
Reflective Journal 25%
Attachment History and Negative Cycle Paper 40%
Participation 15%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples
April 07, 2023 to May 25, 2023
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
9:00AM to 4:15PM
April 21, 2023 to April 30, 2023
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Virtual
Delivery Options
Remote Instruction  
Course Fee(s)
Potential Discount(s)
  • Elana Goldin-Lerman
Section Notes

Early bird registration ends 30 days prior to the course start date.

Course registration closes Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.

Beginning Friday, April 7, 2023 at 12:00 p.m., course materials can be accessed online via CourseLink.

If, due to extenuating circumstances, one or more class needs to be rescheduled, the class will be held on the Saturday and/or Sunday following the day or week it was cancelled.

This course is delivered remotely in real time.

  • Visit Learning Remotely - Students.
  • Remote Delivery Orientation (Zoom & CourseLink): Friday, April 7, 2023, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET (Highly recommended for those who have not yet participated in an orientation for a course in this program).

Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • CourseLink, the name for the University of Guelph learning management system.
  • Zoom as a video communication tool:
    • Webcam (Built-in or USB plug-in)
    • Headset or a Microphone and Speaker (Built-in, wireless, or USB plug-in)

 View the Technical Considerations for CourseLink and Zoom.

View the Course Policy: Withdrawals, Refunds, Transfer, Cancellations, Postponements.

Contact the OpenEd main office if you require assistance.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Creating Connection by Johnson, Susan M. © 2019 New York: Routledge 3rd edition ISBN 9781351168366 New York: Routledge
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Becoming an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist: The Workbook by Johnson, S.M., Bradley, B., Furrow, J., Lee, A., Palmer, G., Tilley, D., & Woolley, S. © 2022 New York: Routledge 2nd edition ISBN 9781003039457 New York: Routledge (Item No. Note: Online access to the required texts is available via the University of Guelph Library.)
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