When Emotions Run High: Helping Couples Make Sense of Stuck Places With Emotionally Focused Therapy



VIRTUAL SEMINAR | January 21 & 22, noon - 3:15 p.m. ET
Instructor: Nancy Knudsen, LMFT
CEs: 6 CEs for social workers are available for $10 fee 
Level: Intermediate

This workshop introduces the basic concepts of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), an evidence-based approach that has been shown to be highly effective in helping distressed couples repair their relationship and create a secure bond. Using attachment theory as a way to understand human bonds, a couple's distress is viewed in EFT as a struggle to restore a sense of closeness and security. The EFT model provides a road map for guiding couples through de-escalating conflict and strengthening their bond. In this course, attendees will explore assumptions made in EFT about the nature of relationships and how underlying attachment needs drive relational dynamics. Attendees will also learn about contra-indicators and stages of EFT couples therapy as well as the concept of the systemic feedback loop present in a couple conflict cycle. Video demonstrations of clinical work along with small group breakout sessions will be interspersed throughout the program.

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method and Format:

Synchronous, interactive virtual seminar with discussion

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Early registration by November 20, 2020: $130
Regular registration by January 20, 2021: $145

CEs: 6 CEs for social workers are available for $10 fee 

Learning Objectives:

  1. List three assumptions made in Emotionally Focused Therapy about the nature of relationships.
  2. Identify three key elements of the systemic feedback loop present in a couple conflict cycle
  3. Describe the behaviors of each partner when feeling a threat to their bond
  4. List two underlying attachment needs that drive relational dynamics
  5. Identify three contra-indicators for EFT couples therapy
  6. List the three stages of EFT couples therapy

Day 1

  • Noon - 1:30 p.m. ET Romantic relationships through an attachment lens: lecture with use of short videos to enhance learning
  • 1:30 -1:45 p.m. Break
  • 1:45 - 2 p.m. ET Video demonstration of EFT Couple Therapy
  • 2 - 2:30 p.m. ET Understanding the negative cycle
  • 2:30 - 2:45 p.m. ET Breakout group exercise
  • 2:45 - 3:15 p.m. ET Overview of components of EFT model

Day 2

  • Noon - 12:15 p.m. ET Questions from Day 1
  • 12:15 - 12:30 p.m. ET Understanding couples conflict and the role of emotion
  • 12:30 - 12:50 p.m. ET Video demonstration
  • 12:50 - 1:15 p.m. ET Breakout group exercise
  • 1:15 - 1:30 p.m. ET Large group discussion
  • 1:30 - 1:45 p.m. Break
  • 1:45 - 2:15 p.m. ET The EFT Tango: the five moves of the EFT therapist
  • 2:15 - 2:30 p.m. ET Video demonstration
  • 2:30 - 3 p.m. ET Breakout group exercise
  • 3 - 3:15 p.m. ET Final remarks

About the Instructor:

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT, is a marriage and family therapist in Northampton, MA with over 30 years experience. Over the past 10 years,Knudsen’s primary clinical modality has been Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). She is a certified EFT therapist and supervisor and has taught a number of workshops on EFT. Additionally, she is a past president of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently the director of the Couple and Family Institute of New England.

Completion Requirements for Virtual Seminars

Virtual Seminars (referred to as live interactive webinars by ASWB) are live, synchronous, online courses held in Zoom meetings. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the virtual seminar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the virtual seminar. For virtual seminars, participant attendance is tracked through Zoom, students are engaged throughout the online class utilizing their camera and/or microphone and participants must complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the evaluation for the virtual seminar, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of seminar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements.

Mary Curtin | Manager of Professional Education

Lilly Hall, 23 West Street, Northampton MA 01062

sswpe@smith.edu | 413.585.7970