Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emotion-Focused Therapy Minimum Training Standards

Guidelines for EFT-Individual Therapist Certification
(International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy, 12/12/2012 version)

[Notes: The board of the new International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy (ISEFT) has been meeting by Skype on a monthly basis since last July.  One of our chief activities has been the construction of a set of minimum training standards for EFT-Individual therapy training.  As of our most recent meeting in December, these have finally reached the point where they can begin to be disseminated.  In the not-too-distant future these will be posted on the new ISEFT website (, which is still under construction, but for now I am posting them here for general information and comments.  –Robert]

A. Principles:
1. The ISEFT Board evaluates trainings to make sure that they meet basic minimum standards or better.
2. Approved local training institutes determine any additional criteria and the specific ways the minimum criteria are met; they also administer the certification of therapists who come under their training program.

B. The basic minimum standards: Minimum 24-training units
Training unit =
• 1 workshop/group supervision day (6 - 7 hrs)
• 2 hrs direct personal supervision of own recorded work with EFT certified supervisor/therapist

1. Minimum prior training: Must have a professional training in some form of therapy
a. If not humanistic-experiential therapy (eg person-centered, focusing-oriented, gestalt), recommend additional empathy training.

2. Basic didactic/experiential workshop training (=Levels 1 & 2): Minimum 8 days/training units (but can be longer), run by certified or approved EFT trainers, covering at least:
• Empathy/relational skills
• Emotion theory, emotion change principles and emotional deepening
• Basic markers/tasks: focusing/clearing a space, unfolding, two chair (conflict and self-interruption splits, self-soothing), empty chair
• EFT case formulation

3. Direct Personal Supervision of own work: Minimum 8 training units = 16 hrs supervision of own work
• 2 hrs of supervision of own work=1 training unit
(a) Supervision standards:
• By a certified EFT supervisor, in either individual or group formats
• Including review by supervisor of session recordings
• Different training centres will use different combinations of workshop and individual supervision
(b) Individual format: 16 hrs = 8 training units
(c) Group format: When supervision is in group format, only count time in direct personal supervision of own clinical work,
• A day (6-7 hrs) of group supervision will also count as a workshop (nonsupervision) training day (= 1 training unit).  Two hrs of group supervision will count as 1/3rd of a (nonsupervision) training unit.

4. Electives to make up a total 24 training units, including:
(a) Additional workshop days, including level 3 training and specialized workshops (eg trauma, depression, anxiety, eating difficulties)
(b) Additional expert direct personal supervision
(c) Additional group supervision
(d) Approved process research projects involving review of EFT sessions recordings (max 4 units)
(e) Assisting in teaching or running EFT training (= 1 training unit per training day)

5. Client experience: See at least two individual clients in EFT for a total of at least 30 sessions, including a minimum of: (a) audio or video recording; (b) process notes summarising what happened and use of active tasks; (c) ongoing supervision by an approved EFT supervisor.

6. Evaluation of competence:
(a) Produce two sessions with active task work in them
(b) Translate/transcribe
(c) Brief case description, including a case formulation
(d) One certified EFT supervisor (certified EFT therapists to start with) listen to and rate for competence on the EFT Therapist Evaluation Form

EFT Therapist Evaluation Form items
Demonstration of EFT Skills in:
(1) Empathy
(2) Marker identification
(3) Emotional deepening
(4) Ability to think about clients in EFT terms (case formulation, process identification, mark identification, experiential formulation)
(5) Use of appropriate EFT tasks, such as focusing, reprocessing, enactment/active expression work, alliance/interpersonal/relational work 

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