Workshops – Round 1
Date and time: Monday June 3rd from 11.15 am to 1.15 pm
Emotionally Focused Family Therapy: An effective intervention for aggression in families
Aggression and family violence pose significant challenges for therapists and the families that seek their help. Incidents of family violence, often seen only as a contraindication to conjoint treatment, remains prevalent for many families. This workshop explores the resources and hope that attachment and an EFT approach bring to families suffering from relationship patterns that feature aggression.
The workshop draws a necessary distinction between acts of situational parent to child violence from other acts of child abuse, opening opportunities to intervene in these problem patterns that disrupt and damage safety and arrest trust in the bonds of caregivers and the children who rely on them. The presentation demonstrates the pivotal role of emotion and attachment in unlocking the intrapersonal and intergenerational influences that shape and ensnare families in these patterns of aggression.
We expand the EFFT process of change focusing on the assessment and intervention with Situational Parent to Child Violence (SPCV). Clinical examples illustrate how a therapist may effectively assess and attune to the impasses blocking safe and secure caregiving and guide families out of the destructive cycles of shame, powerlessness, and aggression. Exploring the relational drama of aggression as an attachment dilemma, the workshop provides clear direction in guiding families toward repair of ruptured trust and new resources of resilience following EFFT roadmap toward safe haven and secure base parenting.
The wisdom of the body
When we live in fear or uncertainty, we lose connection with ourselves and others. We are flooded by emotions, thoughts and bodily responses. Using the body to bring one home to oneself is especially useful in trauma and core attachment wounds, where dissociation is prominent. Working on a more basic sensory level is an effective way to broaden the window of capacity in the client. By explicitly focusing on the wisdom of the body -by tracking and processing the body – we can deepen the experiential work.
As therapists, we learn how to stay present with the bodily sensations and work with them. We follow the body’s innate wisdom to reconnect oneself and other. Fear will dissipate in client and as therapists we feel grounded in the experience. Integrating the wisdom of the body can provide a profound enhancement to the therapy’s effectiveness.
Finding Safety & Strength Within – Using the Power of the EFIT Tango for self-awareness and self-care
Finding safety and strength within yourself is essential for therapists who, day in and day out, deal with human suffering. As EFT therapists, we are temporary attachment figures and are required to regulate strong emotions – both those of our patients and our own – all the while staying emotionally accessible, responsive and engaged. We need to be both connected to ourselves and to our clients, anchored in our bodies and grounded in attachment. To be a secure base and a safe haven for our distressed clients and for our own well-being, we as therapists need to attend to ourselves and care for our vulnerable, hidden or denied parts. Self-awareness makes us more sensitive and balanced therapists.
In this experiential workshop we will focus on nourishing and strengthening ourselves as EFT therapists. We will connect with our vision for the professionals we wish to be. We will then get in touch with and care for the younger, vulnerable self and attend to the obstacles to our growth and well-being. We will use the beautiful EFT Tango for ourselves. We will combine solo visualization and writing exercises with work in dyads, in order to experience co-regulation and self-regulation. Exercises are suitable for taking home to continuing the work with yourself or a safe companion at your side.
EFT Trainer in training
Is Imperfection a Hope in EFT? Our mistakes and our helplessness moments in Sessions
We will show and discuss about videos in which we could observe moments where we lose Hope as therapists. Moments where our patients lose Hope, Moments where there is no reaction and everything seems frozen. Observe how we look for escape routes when it is too difficult for us or them. How we try to protect them and ourselves from difficult and painful emotions. How we observe and make sense of our reactive, protective strategies in the face of these blocks. And finally, how, with some clients, we fail, and there is no repair or happy ending. Observe also how shame plays an important role and can prevent us from seeking help, support, supervision, or worse, help to desist from the theoretical model and empathy toward clients to protect ourselves.
Our focus will be on how to be in this, without solutions, just as we are made to stay in our worst moments when they simply happen. We want the therapists, too, to connect with their own stuckness and difficulties, and through the Tango moves we will dance together and to be inspired and shaped through the experience they can do with each other directly during these two hours together. We would like the therapists to go home feeling that they are okay even in their imperfections, that is also okay not to be okay and in some moments we can simply stay there, that they gain the opportunity not to feel alone in these mistakes and loss of hope.
From the cradle to the grave – disease, death and dying in light of attachment
Humans are relational creatures. Attachment provides us with a lens to view and understand behavior and inter relational dynamics. Although originally researched in childhood, attachment is equally prominent in the last phase of life. According to Bowlby attachment behavior plays a role ‘from cradle to grave’. How does attachment relate to humanities mortality?
Connection provides security, especially when facing a threat. Disease (and specifically incurable disease) confronts us with the utter vulnerability of life. Death can be seen as a (if not the greatest) unwilling separation. Death threatens our sense of connection and security to the core. At the moment death forces us to let go the power of connection is nevertheless evermore potent to provide security. Paradoxically, holding tight helps us to let go. Thinking along the line of attachment helps us to die connected. This dynamic is called ‘the palliative paradox’.
This workshop combines the latest views from palliative medicine with the principles of EFT.
You are welcome to join us in this workshop where we will explore the contribution of attachment in relationship to disease, death and dying. We will focus both on our role as healthcare professionals, as well as on the way we can provide security through the teams we work in and on the actual care we can provide for patients and their loved ones. A dynamic workshop with interaction around real life cases and plenary exchange of thoughts.
Registered psychologist, family therapist and EFT supervisor
Specialist palliative care
Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor
“Can You See Me?” Cultural Humility Through an Attachment Lens
Various aspects of an individual’s cultural background are significant, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, and size. It is crucial for therapists to recognize the importance of humility when addressing a client’s cultural worldview. While Multi-Cultural Competence focuses on attitudes/beliefs, knowledge, and skills, it is not enough. Through the lens of Attachment theory, we emphasize the practice of ‘Being’ with diverse clients rather than ‘Doing’ it.
In this discussion, I will explain the definition and components of cultural humility, its importance, and ways to practice it, and illustrate with different case scenarios. This will not be just a lecture but an experiential presentation.
Participants will be gently encouraged to develop an understanding of their own cultural background and the ways that it influences their attitudes, values, and beliefs (i.e., attitudes/beliefs); develop an understanding and knowledge of the worldviews of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds (i.e., knowledge); and use culturally appropriate interventions (i.e., skills). This tripartite model has dramatically influenced psychotherapists’ research, practice, and training.
Emotion Focused Mediation (EFM): Effective application of EFT-method and interventions in non-clinical settings
Presentation of development and practice of emotion focused approach to conflicts in other than clinical setting (EFCT, EFFT, EFIT). Working title is EFM (Emotionally Focused Mediation). Since 10 years developing a new (humanistic, healing) approach to conflict. Workshop leader is an experienced (court)mediator implementing the EFT-approach in penal cases, restorative practices, civil cases (divorce, custody etc.), collaboration, and other conflicts such as f.e. complaint and disciplinary cases. The tango appears to be as effective in all relationships, since the intersubjectivity and emotions are quintessential to the approach. Although the (legal) context can be challenging, the method is robust and helpful.
Emotion Focused approach in non-clinical settings
Workshops – Round 2
Date and time: Tuesday June 4th from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm
From sexual shut down and disconnect to the freedom and pleasure: working through lifelong trauma in couples and individual EFT treatment
Many clients struggle to have healthy and satisfying sexual lives. After years of teaching many EFT therapists we learned that dealing with sexual trauma is one of the most challenging situations. We can do excellent EFT work and reach relationship security but the sexual relationship may not come online. In the US over half of women and almost 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. Estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Such experiences along with more subtle ways women are subjected to sexually inappropriate pressures in society affect not only their ability to experience pleasure and sexual desire, but also their View of Self and View of Other.
We will follow one couple through the process of healing the relational disconnect and the female partner through her exploration of all possible barriers to become a healthier sexual person. She learned to listen to her “Future Self” as a source of motivation and inspiration. Our creativity and our capacity as therapists to have faith in resilience of our clients are important components of healing. Through lecture and video clips of couples and individual EFT sessions, the presenter will provide a map and general principles of working with such clients, as well as demonstrate strategies and creative interventions. The workshop will also include self-reflective and experiential discussions.
Experiential workshop concerning the complexity of engaging with hope and hopelessness in EFT
Instilling hope is one of the therapist’s primary tasks in psychotherapy and in EFT. Instilling hope proves to be more complex than it may seem. How do we instill hope, in the midst of a lot of trauma, loss, and hopelessness? How do we tune in to the hope and the hopelessness of our clients and emotionally hold both their hope and hopelessness at the same time (Flaskas, 2007)? Is instilling hope always a good idea or are there situations when we need to be more careful? Or even allow ourselves to let go of hope? In sum, how do we understand, think about, and ‘do’ hope in EFT?
In a qualitative study, we posed these questions to ten experienced EFT trainers. These interviews, which were analyzed using thematic analysis, taught us a lot about the process of hope. It provided answers to the questions above and provided ideas about how working with hope and hopelessness is deeply connected to our EFT model. During this workshop, we will share our findings in an interactive and experiential way. There will be room for practicing interventions related to hope and experiential exercises helping therapists tune in to a bodily felt sense of what working with hope and hopelessness in EFT is about.
Certified EFT therapist
Alexine Thompson-de Benoit
“Hope for ADHD impacted relationships”
ADHD is a condition that affects the executive functioning part of the brain, which manages our working memory, ability to focus, ability to plan, stay organized, finish what we started, and regulate emotions, among other things. For ADHD affected individuals, those difficulties can be a real impairment in many areas of life, including their relationship. Research shows that those individuals have less satisfying relationships, in general.
It is not uncommon for them to be undiagnosed until later in adulthood, and by then, the relationship has been deeply affected. Their partners often complain that they are not paying attention to them, that they are disorganized, inconsistent, emotionally unstable, and unreliable. They often feel forgotten and unimportant and end up carrying a big part of the load, while complaining, blaming and criticizing their ADHD partner. This too will deeply affect the relationship. Realizing that ADHD plays a role in the relational dynamic is crucial to transforming anger into empathy, and developing strategies to better manage its impact and stay united against it.
In this presentation, we will look at how ADHD impacts the cycle, and we hope to show that despite statistics, there is hope even for those relationships, if we can depersonalize the symptoms, educate the partners, and provide an EFT space where vulnerability leads to safety, where anger can be validated and shame uncovered, so that couples can partner together to better manage the symptoms of ADHD, send clear signals to each other, and thrive.
An Experiential Exploration into How Therapists’ Intergenerational Relational Patterns Affect Therapy
In this workshop participants will embark on a journey to access awareness of their intergenerationally transmitted relational patterns and explore how these patterns influence their therapeutic work, particularly when accessing deep emotions in EFT. Marlene and Kyriaki will take on the role of “travel guides”, who will escort workshop members through their own personal process by using experiential exercises in dyads and small groups. Together we will explore and share common experiences of our stuck places, our blocks and our action tendencies as therapists with the aim of understanding and using our personal sensitivities as resources and strengths to move through emotional blocks that influence our sessions.
Note: due to the experiential nature of the workshop, the group will be a maximum of 20 participants.
Introducing Hold Me Tight, Let Me Be Me. An educational program for improving relationships between adult children and their parents
Hold Me Tight®/ Let Me Be Me, recently published by ICEEFT, is an educational program for Families with Adult Children designed to move the relationship between family members from insecure to secure connection. An adaption of the HMT® Couples Program, it is created by Drs. Aikin together with Dr. Sue Johnson. When HMT®/LMBM went online in 2020, Drs. Aikin initiated an international working group of EFT therapists meeting once a week on Zoom to support and further develop the program. Under the Aikin’s leadership, the group has now conducted seven programs online, benefitting over 45 families, representing a unique international collaborative effort.
The program’s workbook facilitates a dramatic restructuring of family relationships. By offering structured exercises conducted in family “breakout rooms”, tension levels are reduced, and a basis for repairing relational injuries established – allowing attachment needs to be expressed and met. EFT assistants are available to support each family, helping them interrupt negative family cycles and experience authentic healing. The online format allows families worldwide to meet and learn from each other. They witness that longing for family connection is truly universal, also within cultural differences that are honored, discussed, and understood.
This workshop will provide an overview of the program, illustrate how to facilitate the work, and speak to its usefulness. Participants will witness a demonstration of how we support families both in breakout rooms and when assembled collectively. An international panel from EFT Therapists who have participated, will be available for discussion, questions, and answers.
EFT work with L or G or B or T or Q or + individuals and those in relationships
This presentation will weave together the latest in research, training, and clinical work with those who identify as one or more of LGBTQ+. Building on years of research, LGBTQ+ centered EFT trainings, clinical and lived experience, the presenters will explore the adaptations developed during a Delphi review where 40 EFT therapists that had a minimum of two years experience working with same sex/same gender relationships participated.
Atotal of 71 guidelines were created. The data reflected therapist development, foundational knowledge, practice set up, and the three stages and nine steps of EFT. Examples include: spend more time in content, including the political climate, and intersectional identities; consider that acknowledging disowned needs and aspects of self can activate blocks and how stage two work can include working with disowned aspects of identity; and working with and identifying the impact of minority stress on internal working models of self and other. Research demonstrates that culturally adapted psychotherapy is more effective (Hall et al., 2016; Soto et al., 2018) and this research expands the adaptation work necessary for effective therapy with those who identify as one or more of LGBTQ+ and in relationships.
This presentation will include clinical examples and video demonstration of the work and provide participants with practical, real-world tools they can use in their practice. We will integrate the latest in the research with practical clinical examples and give participants an opportunity to better understand their work with sexual and gender minorities and offer a path forward for further exploration.
Monica Diaz Cayeros
Certified EFT Supervisor
Intervention with couples using EFT when one or both members may be on the autism spectrum
In this workshop we will see videoclips from a couple where the members may be on the autism spectrum. The videos are in Spanish but will be subtitled in English. The fragments (from 3 sessions along a 20-session therapy) will exemplify what may be seen and how to intervene with couples when it’s suspected that one or both members of the couple could be on the autism spectrum in each one of the stages of EFT therapy.
The focus of this workshop is not to work on already diagnosed, more severe, presentations of autism spectrum disorder, but on undiagnosed verbal people who may fit with the ASD characteristics and who show up for therapy because of the couple’s distress that may be associated with the condition. Specific strategies and interventions will be suggested at each stage of EFT. In the first stage: Include a neurodiverse lens to decriminalize action tendencies. In the second stage: Take into account what it means to have lived a lifetime in a neurotypical world and how this impacts the view of self / view of others. In the third stage: Consider whether or not to seek an evaluation or diagnosis.
Attendees will have the opportunity to work in dyads to get a feeling of both roles (therapist and consultant) and to raise awareness to the struggles of this population. People on the spectrum are often an invisible minority that need our attention.
If you have any questions about the 2024 EFT World Summit please get in touch with us.
+31 85 902 28 36
3521 AZ Utrecht
The 2024 EFT World Summit is organized in cooperation with:
Dutch EFT Foundation
International Centre for Excellence in
Emotionally Focused Therapy