1.75 CE Credits Available
EFT Masterclass Volume 1: Sexual Issues
by Jeff Hickey & Lisa Palmer-Olsen
In this first volume of our EFT Masterclass Series, Jeff Hickey helps a couple to reconnect sexually as they rebuild their bond of attachment.   
Sexual intimacy is often a casualty of insecure relationships between partners who have grown emotionally distant from one another. Couples therapists can falsely assume that once partners reconnect emotionally, sexual intimacy will naturally and easily resume. However, blocks may remain from chronic unresolved individual and relational stressors, as well as family of origin issues, faulty gender messages and trauma. If these are not addressed, couples who have successfully reconnected emotionally may still remain sexually distant from each other.

With its unique focus on emotional processing, attachment and strengthening the bonds of engagement, EFT offers unique advantages for couples struggling with sexual intimacy issues. By watching Hickey apply the principles and techniques of EFT with Mark and Julie, you will learn to guide your clinical attention directly to the heart of the problem with couples who have grown sexually disconnected. Learn to stay laser-focused on relationship dynamics by watching Hickey apply core EFT principles and techniques in his work with Mark and Julie. As he helps the couple understand and break down the walls of resistance, you too will feel more comfortable bridging the sexual chasm that separates the partners in couples you work with.

What therapists are saying…

“A powerful video, useful for practitioners, educators, and students, especially those studying or working in Couples and Family therapy. Its practicality is multidisciplinary; through interviews and voice over commentaries, Hickey and Olsen explain their case conceptualizations in ways that bridge Attachment Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and the healing of systems that suffer from sexual addiction.”

—Carlos Del Rio, PhD, Couples and Family Therapist, Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Bellevue University
“Superb! The narration conceptualization makes sexuality counseling more approachable to students and practitioners alike. This video will help prepare you for sexual health conversations in a clinical setting, and contribute to your work in meaningful ways. Intersectional conceptualization, here- and now, and other EFT elements are present throughout.”

—Reka Farago, PhD, Adjunct, Saybrook University, University of Northern Colorado, Sex Therapist in Private Practice, Lone Tree, Colorado
“Emphasizing the importance of approaching, facilitating, and understanding couples with sexual concerns, this video covers the significance of discussing sexual issues, models how to initiate and facilitate conversations related to sex with couples, and demonstrates how a session may progress. The video highlights how to conceptualize the couple’s concerns through EFT and then shows how to meet the needs of the couple. Practicing clinicians as well as instructors teaching any course related to couples or sex will find this video useful.”

—Andy Felton, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Stout
“The video not only approaches how to talk with clients about a sensitive topic, but also provides helpful demonstrations of how those conversations and techniques may look in practice. Very useful. ”

—Eric Jett, PhD, Clinical Faculty, Southern New Hampshire University
“Incredibly helpful in slowing down and highlighting some of the emotional nuances that underly marital sexual issues and the assessment questions that an advanced counselor should be thinking of when working with sexual issues between couples. Very informative for any therapist working with the important sexual intimacy issues often found in couples therapy.”

—Alyssa Gavulic, PhD, Psychotherapist, Niceville, FL.

In Depth
CE Test
Sex therapy has become less medicalized, individual and symptom-focused, and more relational. In turn, couples therapists have become more informed about sex therapy. Because EFT attends directly to issues of security, trust and bonding, it is a natural approach for helping couples to re-ignite their sexual connection. Because couples like Mark and Julie do not typically bring up their sex lives with their therapist, it is the therapist’s job to focus on the sexual relationship as bonds of trust, security and attachment are strengthened.

Mark and Julie, already in couples therapy with EFT expert and trainer Lisa Palmer-Olsen, took advantage of an opportunity to obtain a consultation session with EFT and sexual issues expert Jeff Hickey. They have grown distant from each other emotionally and sexually. Shared and individual frustrations along with stressors in and outside of their relationship have driven a deep wedge between them. Mark is tired of being Julie’s caretaker and struggles with deeply-hidden feelings of rejection, frustration and mortality. A recovering addict who also struggles with her body image, Julie feels like she has failed both herself and Mark, and may be the cause of the couple’s sexual problems. Tension, anger, disconnection and non-communication have taken the place of sexual intimacy, emotional sharing and security. They hope Hickey can help.

Hickey’s masterful use of EFT’s focus on underlying attachment issues and dysfunctional patterns will help you address sexuality in your own couples work. His strategic relationship-focused interviewing, use of enactment, psychoeducation and prescribed behavioral techniques will expand your own repertoire of helping skills with couples like Mark and Julie. By opening your own couples work to sexual issues, your couples will rekindle the flames of their own intimacy.   

Length of video: 1:53:45

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-564-5

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-564-9

Jeff Hickey, LCSW, CST is the director and president of the Chicago Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (chicagoeft.com). He has been practicing and teaching Emotionally Focused Couples therapy for over 15 years and over that time has presented many trainings and workshops around the country. He has also presented on the intersection of sexuality and couple relationships, an area of growing interest among clinicians. Jeff is also a certified sex therapist and has over 30 years of clinical experience working with a broad range of couples presenting with a wide variety of concerns, including trauma and sexuality.
   Lisa Palmer-Olsen, PsyD is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego California. She is a Certified EFT Therapist, Trainer, and Supervisor, and is a Founder and one of the Directors of the Emotionally Focused Couples Training and Research Institute at Alliant International University. Dr. Palmer-Olsen’s primary clinical and research interests are in the areas of couple and family therapy; specifically with those couples and families dealing with trauma and attachment related struggles. She is an AAMFT clinical member and approved AAMFT supervisor. Dr. Palmer-Olsen is also co-founder and clinic director for the Alliant Couple and Family Clinic (ACFC), a San Diego-based nonprofit therapy clinic. The ACFC specializes in family and couple therapy offering individual and group counseling sessions for military and all clients in distressed relationships. As the clinical director, Dr. Palmer-Olsen supervises and teaches the EFT model, as well as works families herself.

CE credits: 1.75

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain how core EFT principles apply to sexual intimacy problems
  • Describe specific EFT techniques for removing blocks to sexual intimacy
  • Design relationally-based treatment plans for couples with sexual issues

Bibliography available upon request

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

© 2019

Course Reviewed January 2024

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