Jim Thomas LMFT

Effectively Embracing Pursuers: From Harshness to Softenings in E.F.T.

Supporting and working with harsh, anxious and despairing partners challenges us all.  How can we be embracing pursuers in Stage One and deepening Stage Two work to get to and facilitate more powerful blamer softenings?

Effectively Embracing Pursuers in E.F.T.

From Harshness to Softenings with Emotional Pursuers

A 2-Day Master Class with Jim Thomas

November 3 & 4, 2017, Denver, Colorado, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

Harsh pursuers, desperate pursuers, critical blamers, burned-out partners…during the “Learning to Lean In and Love our Withdrawers” workshop, the participants asked for a companion training focused on embracing pursuers in this work.

They all present challenges for us as we apply E.F.T. and E.F.F.T.

Reved up, they can take over a session…triggering shut down or defensive anger in their partner…runaway cycles dominate…

In a panic they demand attention, like “Give us tools now!”

When a pursuer touches despair, the therapist can get lost in it too…”I give up, this is hopeless, she’ll never change, I’m done.”

Their harshness and criticism causes withdrawers to full back further in session, “He’s done nothing different this week, NOTHING!  And he didn’t even get me a Valentines Day card.”

and around and around it can go…but help is on the way!

We often find ourselves running in to common roadblocks and difficult processes:

“This partner just goes on and on, and her story is so painful, it’s hard to interrupt,”

“We’ll be going along well in session, both partners deepening, seeming to engage and exploring their cycle perhaps, when out comes his harsh bazooka, and I am totally caught off guard,”

“I’ll get to this pursuers sadness, hurt, but it turns in to despair, it overwhelms their partner, and honestly, it overwhelms me too,”

“My pursuers can say such intense things, like “I am done! I want a divorce!” and it’s tough to tell what is protest and what is a statement I need to take seriously in content during session, how does one tell?”

“Their dramatic statements stir me up and seem to shut down their withdrawn partner more.”  

“As a therapist, I get lost in my pursuers stories, and once they get on a roll, it is hard to get the session back on track,” 

“The anger and anxiety mix in some pursuing partners, and the absence of any responsibility that they take for the negative dance, that gets to me as a therapist.” 

“I get frustrated with the intensity of pursuers sometimes, the demands for change, and they ways they will keep the withdrawer on egg shells even in session,” and more

Jim is developing this 2-Day master class from his own similar experiences with Blamers along the way, from the common themes of supervisees and core skills participants, and ongoing stumbling blocks he experiences in session.  “We are always learning.  My pursuers, after the withdrawer workshop was completed, they started sharing with me in a different way.  There were themes that echo what we all need to understand about being in insecure, anxious attachment with someone you love,” Jim says, “it led to the development of this workshop.”

Learning Objectives include:

  1. Deeper understanding of emotional pursuit, including the harshness and anxiety underlying it.
  2. Increase our skills at attending and attuning to the emotional experience of anxious pursuit,
  3. While learning to “pat down,” comfort and redirect anxious, angry, critical pursuers in session.
  4. Developing key moves and skills for holding and supporting pursuers in Stage One work
  5. All in the service of overcoming the nemesis and getting to and effectively through Blamer Softenings in E.F.T.

We’ll explore:

  • How vulnerability in Stage One looks and feels for blamers.
  • The tug of war for therapists of core validating responsiveness to anger versus letting critical anger run the session.
  • The different pacing of vulnerability exploration for pursuers, than withdrawers in Stage One work.
  • The Power of Withdrawer Vulnerability for pursuers in
    • Stage One and
    • Stage Two and
    • Stage Three of E.F.T. work
  • Essential Reframes that aid Pursuers in Stage One work
  • Key Moves to make when Pursuers escalate repeatedly or unexpectedly.
  • Central importance of honoring Pursuer Intention, again and again (and again)
  • The Power of Patience, Perspective and Positivity in the face of Pursuer Despair
  • Acceptance and Leaning In to Emotional Distress (in the face of affairs, injuries and burn-out)
  • Wrestling with the Tiger
  • Burned-Out versus Injured Pursuers (identification and strategies)
  • The Mad-Sad Weave in early Stage One work

All in service of Stage Two Work:

  • Getting to deeper, powerful bonding events
  • Keeping your foot on the heightening pedal until the last reach
  • Awareness of type of pursuer fears we may not expect to arise

Getting out of our comfort zone with blaming, harsh, panicked and despairing partners and closer to their needs, their longings and their secondary strategies…while helping them share their dilemma, that their comfort zone is so painful, stressful and overwhelming, and they don’t believe in the magic (yet).

This workshop focus and content evolved from feedback of anxiously insecurely attached partners, pursuers, regarding what works to keep them going in E.F.T. work.

The workshop will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Denver, Stapleton Area, 3203 Quebec Street, Denver, Colorado, 80207, 1-303-321-3333   Special room rate of 119.00 per night availableThere are a limited number of rooms available, once gone, the Center cannot help access rooms at this rate nor guarantee rooms will be available in the hotel – reserving a room early is recommended. 

Link for special room rate, click here

Regular rate until November 1, 2017  450.00

Regular Rate Until Nov 1st

Late Registration, if available, 465.00

Late Registration- if space available




Friday November 3rd

8:30 Registration and Gather:  Light Continental Breakfast provided

9:00 Start

Diving in to the Pursuer Side of the Dance

12:30 to 1:30 lunch onsite

Effectively Dancing with Harsh, Critical Pursuit

5:00 ending on Friday

Saturday November 4th

9:00 Start

Pivoting, Going Deeper and Holding our Pursuers in Panic & Despair

12:00 to 1:00 lunch on your own

Deeper and more Engaging Blamer Softenings

4:30 ending on Saturday

12 Contact Hours

We are applying for NBCC CE’s, application pending

Jim Thomas, EFT Trainer, LMFT, Approved Supervisor AAMFT








Cancellation Policy:

60 to 30 days out:  $120.00 administrative fee

29 days to 15 days from event:  $150.00 fee

14 days or closer to event:  We are unable to give refunds at that late notice – without exception – due to contractual obligations, fixed costs and other factors.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.


emotional withdrawal, emotional withdrawers, EFT