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Digital Recording

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): Evidence-Based Interventions for Distressed Couples

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Kathryn Rheem, EdD, LMFT
6 Hours 09 Minutes
Audio and Video
Apr 07, 2020
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Media Type:
Digital Recording
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Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)—the only model of couple therapy that has been tested and shown to create lasting change in over 20 empirical studies.

In this recording, join EFT trainer Kathryn Rheem, Ed.D., LMFT, colleague of Dr. Sue Johnson, and learn the process for helping couples move from negative patterns of interaction to greater openness and deeper intimacy with each other.

Attachment distress and the resulting arguments between partners is one of the most powerful forces in our clients’ lives. This distress is emotionally disruptive, hard to contain, and unpredictable for clients and clinicians alike.

Emotionally escalated couples are frequently our most challenging clients. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), based on adult attachment, offers a clear map to work with and shift escalated couples. Reactive emotion, a hallmark of attachment distress, is fast-moving, hard to contain, and keeps couples stuck in a negative pattern. Accessing and sharing vulnerabilities, a key to creating healthy attachment, can look easy but is challenging. Sharing vulnerabilities with each other creates the bonding moments needed to re-structure their bond.



This online program is worth 6.0 hours CPD.



Kathryn Rheem, EdD, LMFT's Profile

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Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

Kathryn Rheem, EdD, LMFT, has been using the empirically-validated EFT approach exclusively in private practice for nearly twenty years and continues to study and learn the model daily. She works extensively with couples where one or both partners have endured trauma and has written and presented on the application of EFT with trauma numerous times.

As an international EFT trainer, she collaborates with Dr. Sue Johnson, the primary developer of EFT, to bring EFT to populations worldwide. Together, Sue and Kathryn created Strong Bonds, Strong Couples, LLC, which provided EFT-based weekend retreat for soldiers and Marines coming home from war and their partners at military installations in the US and abroad.

Kathryn is the director of the Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy. She was voted a Top Couples Therapist in Washington, D.C., by the Washingtonian Magazine. She is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of AAMFT and has written 15 articles/chapters on the application of EFT with trauma.



Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Kathryn Rheem is the director of the Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (WBCEFT). She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial:  Kathryn Rheem has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


  1. Communicate the tenets of human bonding and how the tenets operate in adult love relationships for purposes of client psychoeducation.
  2. Assess for attachment injury and trauma history in presenting couples as it relates to case conceptualization.
  3. Summarize the EFT stages, steps and five moves of the Tango to be utilized in a clinical setting when working with couples.
  4. Articulate the “stuck” places couples encounter that perpetuate negative cycles and emotional disconnection in love relationships, and utilize this information to improve clinical outcomes.
  5. Increase treatment effectiveness by adapting the EFT model to different clients, including escalated, traumatized, and depressed partners.
  6. Utilize clinical exercise to shape your reflections on the couple’s negative pattern of interaction as you implement the Five Moves of the Tango.


State of Couple Therapy: The New Science of Attachment

  • The map to basic relationship emotions and needs
  • Understand and contain distance and distress
  • Shaping responsive bonding
  • Understand love relationships – invaluable to the therapist

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

The Core Tasks

  • Build an alliance
  • Reprocess and distil emotion
  • Choreographing new interactions
  • Videos and exercises

The Structure – Three Stages

  • 1. De-escalation
  • 2. Restructuring attachment
  • 3. Consolidation
  • Key change events

The Moves – EFT Tango: Experiential & Systemic

  • Move 1: Track & reflect process
  • Move 2: Assemble & deepen emotion
  • Move 3: Choreograph engaged encounters
  • Move 4: Process the encounter
  • Move 5: Integrate, validate, summarize

Micro Interventions

  • Reflection of emotional process
  • Validation
  • Evocative process questions
  • Deepen and distil emotion
  • Interpretation – conjecture
  • Reflecting interactions – feedback loops
  • Reframing
  • Shape enactments
  • Contain enactments that go awry

Difficult and Attachment Injured Clients: Discussion and Exercises

  • Dysregulated, escalated, and shut down, dismissing clients
  • Attachment injuries (i.e. affairs) – Relationship traumas that destroy trust
  • A proven model for forgiveness and reconciliation

The New Era of Couple Therapy

  • Growing into and applying the EFT model
  • Gain confidence in EFT – Maximize effectiveness in your practice
  • Key changes and challenges in the field of couple therapy

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Addictions Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Clergy
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 2


Helena K

"I loved the presenter--very knowledgeable and articulate."

Kristen K

"excellent seminar!"

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