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Course Description

Examine Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) as an attachment-based, short-term, experiential, and systemic model. Learn to help family members create secure connections by attending to their emotional experiences. EFFT seeks to reduce problematic issues by helping families to be more emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged. Gain an introduction to the major concepts of EFFT, attachment theory, and the 3 stages and 9 steps of EFFT. Emphasis is placed on the clinical skills and interventions utilized in EFFT. The course also highlights the key differences between EFT for couples (EFCT) and EFT for families (EFFT). A variety of methods will be used to enrich the teaching and learning process, including didactic teaching, case studies, videos, small group discussion, readings, interactive exercises, and reflective journaling.

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 with ICEEFT.

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:

  • Explore family distress using attachment theory and emotions
  • Compare key differences between EFT for families (EFFT) and EFT for couples (EFCT) in therapy practice
  • Examine the theory and the application of Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), including the 3 stages and the 9 steps
  • Enhance your skills when accessing and working through relational blocks
  • Develop strategies to increase parental ownership of the EFFT process and caregiving responses
  • Develop your competence in capturing and deescalating the negative cycle of a distressed family (stage 1)
  • Identify your emotions experientially
  • Critique how EFFT may or may not fit within your own values and clinical application

Course Topics

  • Basics of EFFT Model
  • Theory of Relationships: Attachment Theory
  • Overview of EFFT Stages and Steps
  • Key Differences Between EFCT and EFFT
  • EFFT Interventions
  • Stage 1: Alliance, Assessment and Cycle
  • Stage 2 Restructure the Attachment and Caregiving Responses
  • Stage 3 Family Consolidation
  • Becoming an EFFT Therapist
  • Blended Families and Special Issues

Job Market Overview


Additional Requirements

  • There are no prerequisites for the course.
  • 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.
  • Some assessments are completed during class, and other(s) are completed in a 1-4 week period following the in-class component. You can expect to spend approximately 10-15 hours completing the course assignment(s).

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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