CORE SKILLS #1 in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: 12 CE credits

Core Skills is second training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (“EFT”) that is required for EFT Certification. Core Skills is divided into four separate weekend trainings spread out throughout a year. The four modules (CS #1-#4), are designed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of and proficiency in applying the different stages and steps of the EFT model. CS #1 focuses on Steps 1 and 2 (alliance, assessment and identification of the negative cycle that couples fall into when in relational distress).

Training appropriate for Ph.D.s, Psy.D.s, LMFTs, LCSWs and LPCs.

Joe X. Cantu, MA MFT is an ICEEFT Certified EFT Trainer. Joe received a B.A. from Southern Methodist University and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles. Joe specializes in working with couples and individuals and maintains his practice in Austin, Texas. Joe is bilingual and was instrumental in bringing Emotionally Focused Therapy to Mexico, Central America, South America and Spain.

Learning Objectives


  • Create a strong alliance with both partners in a couple.
  • Conduct attachment histories and therapy contract.
  • Detect coping strategies adopted by couple in times of relational distress.
  • Complete Assessment and identify contraindications to EFT therapy.
  • Identify triggers that threaten the attachment bond between partners.
  • Define relational styles and attachment dynamics in a couple’s relationship.
  • Identify reactive cycle that negatively affects a couple’s relationship.
  • Extrapolate negative cycle from couple’s conflict narrative.
  • Define the negative cycle as a recursive negative feedback loop that has circular causality

(Central Time)

DAY #1

9:00-10:00                      Step #1 Building and Maintaining Alliance

10:00-10:20                    Exercise Empathetic Reflection

10:20-10:30                    Q&A

10:30-10:45                    Break

10:45-11:20                    Pursuer/Withdrawer Dynamics

11:20-12:00                    Role Play – Assessment


12:00-1:00                      Lunch


1:00-2:00                        Identifying the Cycle/Assembling Emotion

2:00-3:00                        Primary/Secondary Emotions

3:00-3:15                        Break

3:15-4:15                        Role Play Extrapolating Cycle from Couple’s Narrative

4:15-4:30                        Q&A/Group Discussion


DAY #2


9:00-9:30                        Interventions

9:30-10:30                      Role Play Using Interventions to Identify Cycle

10:30-10:45                    Break

10:45-11:20                    Attachment Language

11:20-12:00                    Role Play Incorporating Attachment Language


12:00-1:00                      Lunch


1:00-2:20                        Non-linear Cycles

2:20-2:50                        Moving from Primary to Secondary Emotion

2:50-3:00                        Group Discussion

3:00-3:15                        Break

3:15-4:25                        Role Play

4:25-4:30                        Q&A

12 CE Hours Available
through CUE Management Solutions, LLC

There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.