Facing The Dragon Together: EFT with Traumatized Couples

Workshop Description

This workshop will demonstrate the use of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) with partners facing the echoes of trauma. EFT has been shown in outcome studies to significantly reduce the symptoms of traumatic stress as well as to help these couples, who often suffer from particularly dysregulated chaotic relationships, move into a secure base of relationship satisfaction, trust and equilibrium. The refinements to EFT model that allow for effective intervention when partners are dealing with extreme negative cycles or interaction and symptoms such as numbing, rage, debilitating shame or intense vigilance for threat will be outlined. On-target couple interventions can create the ideal healing environment for traumatized partners whether such trauma arises from childhood abuse, violence and battle stress or medical problems. We will also set out interventions for events that constitute relationship trauma and block positive bonding. The workshop will offer a mixture of didactic presentations, case discussion, viewing and discussion of clinical training tapes and experiential exercises.


  • Outline the relevance of attachment science for couple therapy with traumatized couples
  • Describe the key elements of emotionally focused therapy as they apply to such couples
  • Outline the pivotal moments that not only heal distressed relationships but shape recovery from trauma through moments of secure bonding.
  • State how specific interventions can be refined to fit the needs of this population.
  • Describe relationship traumas and how the EFT therapist creates healing and forgiveness.

Participants working in the following fields will benefit from this training:

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Professional Counselors
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Recommended Reading

  • Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors (2002) Guilford.
  • Love Sense; The revolutionary new science of romantic relationships (2013) Little Brown.
  • Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Life-time of Love (2008) Little Brown
  • The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy –Creating Connection (2004) Routledge