EFT Training Helps People in Therapy and Therapists

Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) is an emotional approach used to help couples address problems within their relationships. Clinicians who deliver this type of therapy undergo intense training to be able to effectively use all of the components of the treatment in a productive way that maximizes treatment outcome. EFT training strives to increase a therapist’s ability to process emotions and identify and address attachment styles, and it enhances self-compassion. However, most clinicians report that their own personal development has not been addressed in previous EFT training sessions or through supervision. Because a clinician’s emotional intelligence and relationship skills are critical factors that directly influence treatment, Michelle Montagno, Ph.D., of the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, conducted a study that evaluated the knowledge and competence levels of clinicians following a 4-day intensive EFT training session. The skills and growth achieved in EFT training can enhance a clinician’s curiosity and acceptance and increase his or her motivation to explore issues that are pertinent to clients.

Montagno and colleagues sought to determine the short-term and long-term advances in emotional awareness, competency, and knowledge in 29 clinicians who attended the EFT workshop. Using questionnaires, the team inquired about the clinicians’ personal development, relationships, and overall understanding of EFT immediately after the training and again several months later. In general, the majority of the clinicians reported that they felt nearly three times more competent and knowledgeable at the conclusion of the workshop than they did prior. Additionally, the levels of competence were maintained at follow-up, even though knowledge levels dropped slightly. Montagno believes this suggests that the delivery of the training, specifically the hands-on, interactive approach, provides more significant gains in learning and long-term results than merely learning the method through literature. The clinicians in the study also reported personal growth as a result of the EFT training. The researchers point out that factors that could influence outcome, such as education, age, and gender, did not. This is important because many professionals believe that women are instinctively better able to deliver an emotion-based therapy than men are. The researchers added, “Thus, learning EFT may not only improve one’s clinical skills but it may also actually improve the life of the therapist.”

Reference:
Montagno, M., Svatovic, M., Levenson, H. Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Training in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy: Professional and Personal Aspects. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 37.4 (2011): 380-92. Print.

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  • Brock

    Brock

    February 3rd, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    A very nice way to have analyzed how well the therapist are doin with themselves and with the knowledge of this therapy. Benefits not only the therapists but also the clients in the end.

  • randall

    randall

    February 4th, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    My question is this- if you do not feel the ability as a therapist to easily handle couples with eft treatment if we know that this is something that can reach out to many couples in trouble then why go into this line of work in the first place? For me I woul think that you pretty much have to be on top of the game when it comes to your own personal and emotional issues to ever be able to effectively help others out with their own. I sure as heck don’t want someone who struggles with their own marriage in a meaningful way telling me how to mind and keep mine.

  • adrian

    adrian

    February 4th, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    you know I would be more comfortable and believing in a therapist who has applied the techniques in his own life that he asks me to follow.if you are not confident of using them for yourself then how am I to go ahead with them,right?

  • Maggie W

    Maggie W

    February 6th, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    This sounds like a wonderful option for continuing education for any therapist!

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