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Advanced EFT Empathy Training Description:

The Relational Basis for Emotion-focused Therapy:
Advanced Empathic Attunement and Relational Work

The secret ingredient in Emotion-Focused Therapy is the relational work, principally deep empathic attunement and emotional presence. Without a strong, empathic presence, EFT tasks such as chair work simply do not work. Thus, a full training in Emotion-Focused Therapy requires specialized training in the interpersonal skills covered in this 6-day training. As in other EFT trainings, the format will be a mixture of brief lectures, videos and demonstrations, experiential practice exercises in small groups, and discussion. We begin with an overview of empathy in general and the empathic attunement process as it is practiced in EFT, featuring the famous “Opening Channels of Receptivity” exercise on Day 1. This is followed by focused skill practice aimed at broadening the range of your empathic practice using evocative and exploratory reflection responses (Day 2), process reflection and empathic affirmative (Day 3), along with empathic conjecture and empathic refocusing (Day 4). On day 5 we will look at how EFT therapists work to help their clients rapidly engage with therapy, and how they address early relational difficulties. Finally, on day 6 we show how EFT therapists address and work with clients to resolve relational difficulties (“alliance ruptures”) in the working phase
of EFT.
This training is recommended to accompany or even precede EFT level 2 training. However, it does not require you to have already take EFT level 1; in fact, it is suitable as a first training for therapists interested in EFT, and will help you benefit more fully from further EFT training.

Day 1: Accessing Empathic Resonance; Opening Channels
Day 2: Evocative & Exploratory Reflection
Day 3: Process Reflection & Empathic Affirmation
Day 4: Empathic Conjecture & Empathic Refocusing
Day 5: Engaging Clients & Establishing Presence
Day 6: Working with Relational Difficulties

Learning Objectives:

  • establish core therapeutic presence with clients;

  • achieve a moment-by-moment attunement to clients; 

  • develop advanced empathy skills to know when to help clients regulate, contain, process and transform emotional pain;

  • access and enhance empathic resonance;

  • learn when and how to use advanced and specialized empathy techniques including Empathic Affirmation, Evocative Empathy, Exploratory Empathy, Empathic Conjecture.

  • develop skills in rapidly engaging clients;

  •  enhance skills to resolve relational difficulties;

About the presenter: Dr. Robert Elliott

Robert Elliott, Ph.D., received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and taught clinical psychology at the University of Toledo (Ohio) for nearly 30 years; during that time, in collaboration with Leslie Greenberg and Laura Rice, he developed Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT).  He currently spends half of his time in Scotland, where he is Professor of Counselling in the School of Psychological Sciences and Health at the University of Strathclyde and where he directs its research clinic and teaches counselling research and EFT.  The rest of the time, he is based in Northern California, where he is busy with various EFT-related writing projects. His central interest is the change process in humanistic-experiential psychotherapies.  He is co-author of Facilitating emotional change (1993), Learning process-experiential psychotherapy (2004), Research methods in clinical psychology (3rd ed., 2015), and Developing and Enhancing Research Capacity in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2010), as well as more than 150 journal articles and book chapters. He is past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and previously co-edited the journals Psychotherapy Research, and Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies.  He is a fellow in the divisions of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association.  In 2009 he received the Distinguished Research Career Award of the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and the Carl Rogers Award from the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He enjoys running, science fiction and all kinds of music. 

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