1.50 CE Credits Available
A Couple in Crisis: Creating Rapid Change With EFT
by Scott Woolley
How can you work effectively with couples who have grown emotionally disconnected from each other, particularly in the face of complex issues such as illness and the specter of loss? Discover a simple framework that you can start using immediately in your practice, regardless of your approach, to guide couples through challenging sessions so they may experience each other in positive, growth-enhancing ways.
Because couples come together, struggle, and ultimately disconnect for emotional reasons, clinicians of all theoretical orientations need a flexible and emotionally focused therapeutic approach to help couples repair their frayed bonds. Watch Scott Woolley sensitively yet masterfully apply attachment-based techniques to create a safe space for Chris and Jeannetta to put aside their defensiveness, share their most vulnerable feelings, and learn that facing fears together can be far less threatening than facing them alone. Woolley’s relaxed and engaging interactional style and his facility with experiential techniques will help you more effectively connect with your own troubled couples so they may once again find safety in their relationship, reconnect, and grow together.

Couples who have grown apart are often defensive, isolated, and hopeless, only hesitantly entering counseling as a last resort. Watching Woolley masterfully navigate Chris and Jeannetta to a place of safety, openness, and hope will improve your own ability to help couples unite when facing major stresses—in this case, cancer. You will also learn to help your clients transform the energy it takes to suppress feelings and distance themselves into the courage required to face complex and demanding challenges together. Additionally, the enlightening and incisive pre-session conversation between Dr. Woolley and clinical educator Shea Dunham, and the post-session debriefing between Dr. Dunham and the couple around issues of race in therapy, will provide added dimensions of depth to the clinical session and provide insights you can take right into your own clinical work with couples.

What therapists are saying…

“A very useful demonstration of an EFT technique that can be used with any therapeutic approach. The course addresses the gap between theory and practice through voiceover commentaries and on-screen text. Dr. Woolley explains not only the steps in the EFT tango but also demonstrates how these steps become tangible in a session. A valuable course for educators and practitioners alike, it teaches real skills that any couples therapist can use.”
— Carlos Del Rio, PhD, Associate Professor, MS CMHC Program, Bellevue University
“Dr. Woolley's connection with the couple is truly sincere and culturally significant in the field of Multicultural Counseling. The steps for the EFT technique are clearly presented and easy to follow. The power and willingness of the couple's vulnerability alongside Dr. Woolley's is visibly based on trust. I highly recommend this video to anyone interested in how to effectively use experiential exercises with couples.”
—Tameca Minter, PhD, Psychotherapist in Private Practice
“This live therapy session is so genuine and transparent that I felt I was sitting in the therapy room. The therapist skillfully and humbly moves through the steps of the EFT tango with an African American couple, showing how to draw out expression of feelings and move to the deepest levels of emotion, validation, and reconnection. This video with excellent commentary and explanation throughout is a “must” for couples therapists, skills trainers, internship classes and supervision.”
—Jane Webber, PhD, Assistant Professor and Doctoral Program Coordinator, Counselor Education at Kean University, Union, NJ
“This video is a wonderful demonstration of the use of EFT with a couple. The intro to the therapy session provides a strong grounding and the therapist's explanations of the session's arc along the way really helped me understand the intentional direction the therapist was moving towards. I really appreciated the way the therapist addressed diversity right away with the couple -- it set the tone that whatever needed to come out in session would be welcomed. A very well done video that provides spot-on application of the technique, as well as addressing diversity and gender role expectations.”
—Suzanne Degges-White, PhD, Northern Illinois University
“Dr. Woolley's demonstration of the EFT tango with a couple in crisis is exemplary. In addition to seeing Dr. Woolley's clinical skills in action, he also expertly describes what he is hearing and seeing in the session with clear explanations about why he's doing what he's doing. This video is a must-see for all clinicians who want a good model of the use of an attachment-based approach with couples”
—Jessica Smedley, EdS., LPC, Owner, Gold Stars Counseling & Consultation
“This an excellent training video on using basic EFT techniques with couples and offers valuable insight on the therapeutic relationship from a cultural competence perspective.”
—Maryse Nazon, PsyD., Program Coordinator at Chicago State University
In Depth
CE Test
Frightened and angry as she undergoes invasive and painful cancer treatment, Jeannetta has felt increasingly disconnected from her husband Chris, who fears losing her and whom she knows is suffering silently alongside her. He on the other hand, lost his own father to alcoholism and cancer, was often taunted by his siblings, and learned early on to suppress his feelings, and later in life to numb them by drinking. Chris just wants to be the strong “papa” and role model of strength for his wife and children.

In this mutual “fight of their lives,” the couple opens up to Dr. Woolley in hopes of safely and reconnecting with each other, so that in Jeannetta’s words, they can “be afraid together.” From this front row seat to Dr. Woolley’s masterful work with this couple, you will learn how to address your own clients’ complex emotional needs by focusing on their unique narratives and experiences in order to help them develop comfort, safety, trust and (re)connection with each other. Additionally, you will see how to address diversity in clinical conversations with clients whose racial backgrounds differ from yours.

Dr. Woolley grounds his approach in Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and its proven-effective “5 Tango Moves,” so as an added benefit, you will learn to adapt this experiential, systemic, and client centered technique into your own couples work.

Move 1—Reflecting the Present Process: Dr. Woolley shifts from conversation and client narration to direct efforts to have Chris and Jeannetta open up and share their feelings with each other, particularly Chris, who walls off his emotions.

Move 2—Affect Assembly and Deepening: Dr. Woolley supports Chris in accessing and expressing his more vulnerable attachment-related feelings, particularly his fears around loss.

Move 3—Using Enactment to Choreograph Encounter: Rather than asking Chris to share his emotions, Dr. Woolley asks him to reveal his fear of directly sharing his emotions with Jeannetta.

Move 4—Processing the Encounter: Dr. Woolley asks Jeannetta to respond directly to Chris about the impact of his emotional sharing on her.

Move 5—Summarizing, Integrating and Validating: Finally, Dr. Woolley highlights and validates the couple’s courageous efforts to share their most vulnerable feelings with each other and to strengthen their bonds of attachment.

Regardless of your level of training or experience in EFT, this video will provide you with an effective attachment-based and experiential framework for guiding couples through difficult sessions regardless of your own therapeutic approach.

After watching this video, you will be able to:
  • describe how attachment theory informs Dr. Woolley’s integrative therapeutic approach with couples
  • discuss how an emotionally focused approach to couples counseling is particularly well-suited for working with complex relational issues such as loss
  • prepare a couples therapy treatment plan that incorporates EFT’s 5 Tango moves

Length of video: 1:27:55

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-600-5

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-600-4

Scott Wooley, PhD, is a founder and Director of the San Diego Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Training and Research Institute for EFT (TRI-EFT). Dr. Woolley has trained therapists in EFT in many areas of the world, and works closely with Dr. Susan Johnson, founder of EFT.

CE credits: 1.5

Learning Objectives:

  • describe how attachment theory informs Dr. Woolley’s integrative therapeutic approach with couples
  • discuss how an emotionally focused approach to couples counseling is particularly well-suited for working with complex relational issues such as loss
  • prepare a couples therapy treatment plan that incorporates EFT’s 5 Tango moves

Bibliography available upon request

This course is offered for ASWB ACE credit for social workers. See complete list of CE approvals here

© 2022

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