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Emotion-Focused Therapy with Individuals:
The Transforming Power of Affect

Friday & Saturday, Feb. 17-18, 2017– 9am to 4:00pm – 12 CE unit Hours available for Psychologists, Social Workers, LPCs, and Marriage and Family Therapists.


The workshop will begin with a discussion of the role of emotion and emotional awareness in function and dysfunction. The importance of working with automatically generated amygdala based emotion will be emphasized. The use of process diagnosis in an emotion-focused approach to identify both adaptive and maladaptive emotions and primary and secondary emotions will be discussed. Differential intervention based on process diagnosis will be demonstrated. Major principles of emotional change in psychotherapy will be discussed. Videotaped examples of evidence based, methods for evoking and dealing with emotions in self-criticism and trauma or emotional injuries from the past with significant others will be presented and discussed.


Access to emotions such as empowering anger at violation and sadness at loss – as well as alternative sentiments toward the self – help people modulate their affective reactions and this helps them combat feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, contempt and shame. This leads to a change in self and self-other narratives.


Participants will be introduced to the skills of moment by moment attunement to affect, focusing on bodily felt feelings, and the use of gestalt methods of dialoguing with parts of self and imagined significant others in an empty chair.

Videotaped examples of evidence based methods for evoking and dealing with emotions will be presented and discussed. The micro-skills of moment by moment empathic attunement to affect, and the use of psycho-dramatic methods of dialoguing with parts of self and imagined significant others in an empty chair will be demonstrated.


A three-phase model for working with emotion in therapy will be presented:

1) Bonding Phase: Empathic attunement to affect
2) Evoking Phase: Evocation and arousal of emotion
3) Transformation Phase: Undoing emotion and developing a new narrative.


Period 1
Emotion: Theory and Research.

Emotion generation
Adaptive function of emotion

Emotion schemes

Video Demonstration

Period 2
Emotion Assessment

Assessment for differential intervention
Primary adaptive emotion
Primary maladaptive emotion
Secondary reactive emotion
Instrumental emotionality

Video Demonstration
Framework for Intervention

Period 3
Major Emotional Change Processes

Corrective Experience

Video Demonstration

Period 4
Framework of Emotion Focused Intervention

The bonding phase
The evoking and exploring phase
The transformation phase

Video Demonstration

Periods 5, 6 &7  Specific Methods

Self-Criticism and the Emotion Change Process
Dialoguing with the self.
Various dialogues
Self Contempt & Shame

Video Tape Demonstrations


Working with Unresolved Emotion in Unfinished Business
Dialogues with significant others
Emotional arousal and expression
Changing the view of the other
Forgiveness and letting go

Video Tape Demonstrations

Period 8
Self-soothing and other interventions


Indications and Counter Indications for Emotion Focused Work

Over controlled and under regulated emotion
The fragile client
The self-annihilating client

Educational Objectives

1. Review theory and evidence on effectiveness of Emotion-Focused Therapy
2. Identify different types of emotional expression.
3. Learn how to intervene differentially with emotion
4. Learn how to access adaptive emotions to produce change.
5. Identify phases in emotional processing to resolve self-critical splits and
unfinished business.
6. Review principles of emotional change and supporting research.
7. Learn when to regulate and when to access emotion.

About the Presenter

Leslie Greenberg, Ph.D. is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario. He is the Director of the York University Psychotherapy Research Clinic is the developer of Emotion-focused therapy. He has authored the major texts on Emotion-focused approaches to treatment. He is the senior author on the original texts on Emotion-focused approaches to treatment of individuals and couples such as Facilitating Emotional Change (1993) and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (1988).

More recent books include Emotion-focused therapy: Coaching Clients to work through their Feelings (2002), Emotion-focused therapy of Depression (2006) and Emotion-focused Couple therapy: The Dynamics of Emotion, Love and Power (2008). His newest book is Theory of Emotion-Focused therapy (2011).

Dr. Greenberg has published extensively on research on the process of change. He received the 2004 Distinguished Research Career award of the Society for Psychotherapy Research: An International interdisciplinary society. He is a founding member of the Society of the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI) and a past President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). He has been awarded the Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Program Award for Excellence in Professional Training and the Canadian Psychological Association Professional Award for distinguished contributions to Psychology as a profession as well as the Carl Rogers award of the American Psychology Association’s Society for Humanistic Psychology.


He is recipient of the APA award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research. He is on the editorial board of many psychotherapy journals, including the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. He conducts a private practice for individuals and couples and trains people in Emotion–focused approaches.

Dr. Greenberg uses a combination of lectures, videotape demonstrations and focused question & answer periods to maximize skill acquisition. His teaching is practical and specific. Workshop participants leave with techniques they can readily integrate into their everyday practices. Dr. Greenberg's workshops are renowned for their atmosphere of authenticity and warmth.


Comments on Greenberg’s Work

There is no doubt that Greenberg is both a pioneer and the
field’s premier investigator in the important work of applying the
basic research on emotions to the process of psychotherapy… a
fabulous compendium of strategies for working with emotions.”

—Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D

“Immensely valuable [for] psychotherapists of all persuasions…
theoretically innovative and clinically practical.”

—Michael J. Mahoney, Ph.D.

“Most psychotherapists and theories of psychotherapy
recognize, in one way or another, the centrality of emotion in
both psychopathology and therapeutic change. [Dr.
Greenberg’s] ‘emotionally-focused’ therapeutic approach [is
one] that virtually all therapists will find useful.”

—Morris Eagle, Ph.D.

“Although emotion has long been recognized as playing a
significant role in the development, maintenance and change of
most clinical problems, the guidelines for working with emotions
therapeutically have always left something to be desired. Not so
with [those of] Greenberg… [his are] lucid, jargon-free… a
landmark contribution.”

— Marvin R. Goldfried, Ph.D.

“Truly outstanding work [for] every researcher and practitioner
involved with psychotherapy.”

—David H. Barlow, Ph.D.

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