Certification Process in EFT

The Colorado Center for EFT along with the International Centre for EFT, (ICEEFT) and affiliated training centers seek to foster excellence and effectiveness in couples and family therapy.   An important component in this effort is the Certification of Therapists in EFT.  The ICEEFT provides the opportunity for therapists who want to utilize EFT in their clinical work to demonstrate their commitment to excellence by obtaining this certification.

Therapists who seek certification begin by taking the 4-Day Externship Training.  This training is a combination of didactic presentation, experiential learning activities, and observation of typically two live EFT Sessions facilitated by Certified EFT Trainers.

Following the Externship, therapists learning EFT will obtain at least 8 hours of individual supervision/consultation which involves sharing their clinical work with couples and families applying the model through video clips or live sessions.  They may then choose to participate in Core Skills Training which is a set of 4, 2-day trainings, typically spread out over a 6 to 8 month time period, or they may participate in additional individual and/or group supervision of at least 24 hours.  Those who do not participate in Core Skills, but rather participate in additional supervision/consultation hours as described, take a 2-day training known as an Advanced Externship led by an EFT Trainer.

Certification in EFT involves the demonstration of core competency in the model. 
Thus there is an emphasis on showing one’s work through role-plays, video clips of sessions, or having a supervisor observe a live session (always with client permission only).  The capstone to this process is the sending of 2, 20 minute video clips of EFT work with couples to the International Centre in Ottawa where the work is independently reviewed by at least one EFT Trainer. These clips must demonstrate work in two essential stages of EFT couples therapy.

Clients working with an Certified EFT Therapist can be assured that the clinician invested in learning the model, that they shared their work with other clinicians, including at least one EFT Supervisor and one EFT Trainer, and that they demonstrate core competencies as evidenced by the two video clips reviewed by the International Centre EFT Trainer or Trainers.

Therapists learning EFT, working towards Certification, are also excellent resources for couples in distress.  It is recommended for couples who are seeing a therapist who states they use Emotionally Focused Therapy that they ask these few important questions:

1)  Are you an ICEEFT Certified EFT Therapist or working towards this certification?

2)  If not ICEEFT Certified, are you actively learning the model through Core Skills Training and Supervision/Consultation with an EFT Supervisor and/or Trainer?

3)  If not, what training have you had in EFT?

For non-EFT Couples Therapists or any couples therapist, other questions you might consider asking include:

4)  How do you decide if a marriage or relationship can be healed or improved?  

5)  Is your approach to couples therapy based on science?  What evidence supports the model or approach you are using?  

6)  Do you focus on couples and relational therapy in your practice and your ongoing training and continuing education?  

Emotionally Focused Therapy is a brief therapy model for most couples.  It requires of a therapist:

A clear commitment from a therapist to supporting healthy relationships, creating a safe haven in the therapy sessions for the couple,

The ability to be with each person’s intense emotions, reactivity, and distress without taking sides,

To be able to help a couple identify the patterns or emotional dance they get stuck in along with any  barriers to fulfilling connection and intimacy,

Openness to feedback and adjustment to unique client needs along the way,

and an authentic emotional presence that is transparent, accepting, collaborative and focused on the couple’s well-being.

In essence, EFT Therapists do not shame or dismiss people’s need for closeness, emotional connection, attention, comfort, acceptance and belonging in community, family, friendships or adult love relationships with a spouse or partner.

Possible Therapist Benefit:  The process of studying EFT has been shown in recent research to be a benefit to the clinician.  EFT has an outstanding body of research that grows every year demonstrating effectiveness as recognized by the American Psychological Association and others.  EFT is supported by Attachment Theory one of the best research concepts about human nature and relationships in all of the social and biological sciences.

Colorado ICEEFT Members:  Jim offers a hurdle help session for ICEEFT Members working to obtain Certification.  There is no fee for this one-time service.  This is not supervision or case consultation.  We can use this time in ways such as:

1)  Review a tape to see if it meets ICEEFT Requirements for Stage One or Stage Two work in Jim’s best estimation.

2)  Work on a technical skill in EFT that a therapist may be wanting to anchor in.

3)  Process through a stuck spot relating to therapist use of self and our own attachment history.

The only requirement is that the therapist has been a member of ICEEFT, having signed up at or within three months of the Externship, or they have been an ICEEFT Member for at least 12 months (and are a Colorado Resident).  Jim retains the right to limit the number of these pro-bono sessions available in any given time period due to his schedule.  Scheduling this meeting well in advance is highly recommended.  Please Note:  No warranty or promise of certification implied or explicit is made with this service and the Center reserves the right to cease offering this service at any time for any reason.  

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