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Emotion-Focused Therapy with Couples:
Emotion, Love, Power and Forgiveness

Mon & Tues, Feb. 20-21, 2017 – 9am to 4:00pm – 12 CE Unit hours available for Psychologists, Social Workers, LPCs, and Marriage and Family Therapists. 

Intimate relationships are understood on the dimension of attachment/security – involving closeness and distance – but also on the dimension of identity/autonomy – involving dominance and submission. This workshop will present Les Greenberg’s new additions to EFT in ways of dealing with affect regulation in relation to both attachment and dominance issues in relationships. We will discuss and view tapes of working with the emotions related to power and identity as well as intimacy and attachment, to transform vicious cycles into virtuous ones.

The emotions of anxiety and sadness – related to threats to attachment security have to be addressed in addition to the emotions of fear, shame and anger – related to threats to identity, status or power. In addition, the role of a third set of pleasant emotions related to intimacy such as warmth, love and caring as well as joy and excitement also are addressed. We will focus on promoting both other soothing and self soothing by helping partners regulate each other’s and their own affects and where applicable by promoting forgiveness in resolving emotional injuries.

Day 1 AM.

Emotion in marriage and couples
The nature of affect
The role of emotion in couple distress
Couple distress and affect regulation

Attachment and Identity, and their emotions

Coffee break

The steps of EFT
The 5 Stage Framework
Validation and alliance formation
Negative cycle de-escalation
Accessing underlying feelings
Restructuring the negative interaction and the self
Consolidation and integration


Working on the affiliation dimension
Dealing with fear and sadness
Distance and blame
Recognizing the subjectivity of the other
Positive emotions of love, joy and excitement

Video demonstration


Working with identity and influence
Dealing with fear, shame and anger
Powerlessness and assertion
Dangers of improvement
Dealing with difference

Video demonstration

Day 2 AM.

Resolving Emotional Injuries

The nature of injury in relationship
The betrayal of trust
Holding a grudge
Video demonstration


The process of resolution
Anger and hurt
Revealing the impact of the injury
The apology
Video demonstrations
Letting go and forgiveness
Video demonstration


Video demonstrations of the process of resolution
Sessions over time


Key tasks
The role of shame in resolution
Dealing with the wall of distrust
Video demonstration



This workshop is designed to help you:

1. Understand the phenomenon of couple distress in the context of emotion and its role in intimacy and attachment as well as influence and identity.

2. Learn to differentiate between adaptive attachment and identity oriented emotions and negative emotional reactions.


3. Learn steps to promote forgiveness or letting go and reconciliation


4. Deal with issues related to rebuilding trust


5. To foster a more secure emotional bond between partners


Goals of Emotionally Focused Therapy

To expand and re-organize key emotional responses.

To create a shift in partner’s interactional positions and initiate new
cycles of interaction.

To foster the creation of a trusting emotional bond between partners.


Professional Comments on Les Greenberg’s EFT with Couples

A major contribution to the continuing evolution of emotion-focused couple therapy by providing a conceptually rich new methodology for helping couples improve their capacity for affect regulation”

Alan S. Gurman, Ph.D

Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin Medical School.

“The chapters on identity conflicts and dealing with specific emotions are a must read on for clinicians of all orientations.”


Keith J Edwards Ph.D
Professor of Psychology
Rosemead Schools of Psychology, Biola University LaMirada CA.

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