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ICEEFT Position on the US government practice of separating migrant and asylum-seeking families at the U.S. - Mexico border 

June 2018


The International Centre for Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) is an international professional organization of mental health professionals with thousands of therapists in the US and across the globe providing clinical services to adults, children, couples and families.


It is with shock and outrage that the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy takes a stand against the current policy of the U.S. government to separate children from their families at its southern border. The research which informs our practice of family and couple therapy makes clear in no uncertain terms that prolonged separation of children from their parents has traumatic repercussions, both short and long term, making this an unconscionable act of cruelty. Depending on the age, such separations are known to have a deleterious impact on the emotional, physical and social development of the child creating a lifetime of impairment, not to mention the devastating heartbreak for the parents. Neither parents nor children know when or whether they will be reunited with one another, an uncertainty which has profound psychological repercussions.  Compounding the horror is the fact that, according to recent reports, the caretakers in charge are forbidden from physically comforting these children in distress.


Our expertise and clinical experience inform our condemnation of this inhumane policy on the part of the Trump administration. There is no law that justifies such treatment of children and families.



Posición oficial de San Francisco Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (SFCEFT) y de ICEEFT sobre la práctica del gobierno de EEUU de separar a las familias migrantes y las que buscan asilo en la frontera de EEUU-México


Junio ​​de 2018


El Instituto de Terapia Foclaizada en las Emociones de San Francisco (SFCEFT) y el Centro Internacional de Excelencia en la Terapia Emocionalmente Focalizada (ICEEFT) son organizaciones internacionales de profesionales de salud mental con miles de terapeutas en los Estados Unidos Y en todo el mundo que brindan servicios clínicos a adultos, niños, parejas y familias.


Es con conmoción e indignación que SFCEFT y ICEEFT toman una posición en contra de la política actual del gobierno de los EEUU de separar a los niños de sus familias en su frontera sur. La investigación que informa nuestra práctica de terapia familiar y de pareja deja en claro en términos inequívocos que la separación prolongada entre hijos y sus padres tiene repercusiones traumáticas, tanto a corto como a largo plazo, convirtiéndolo en un acto de crueldad desmesurado. Dependiendo de la edad, se sabe que tales separaciones tienen un impacto nocivo sobre el desarrollo emocional, físico y social del niño, creando una vida de deterioro, sin mencionar el devastador dolor de corazón de los padres. Ni los padres ni los hijos saben cuándo se reunirán o si se reunirán entre ellos, una incertidumbre que tiene profundas repercusiones psicológicas. Para agravar el horror está el hecho de que, según informes recientes, a los cuidadores a cargo se les prohíbe consolar físicamente a estos niños en peligro.


Nuestra experiencia y experiencia clínica son la base de nuestra condena de esta política inhumana por parte de la administración Trump. No existe una ley que justifique este tratamiento de niños y familias.

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What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?

Most couples in conflict tend to react to each other in particular ways that keeps the conflict going. Over time, a repetitive pattern emerges that keeps the couple locked in a negative cycle.

We help to interrupt their repetitive negative interactions and learn to reach for each other for nurturance and support. 

By strengthening their emotional bond and feelings of secure attachment, EFT therapists help couples to create a more emotionally open and receptive way of interacting. The goal of EFT is to help couples to feel safe sharing their vulnerable feelings, fears and attachment-related longings.

Learning Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is an empirically validated, humanistic psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg in the 1980’s. Since then, Sue Johnson developed the model further adding John Bowlby's Attachment Theory to further understand couple relationships and to guide therapists in helping them. EFT is also used with families and individuals.    

The Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) model is based on the belief that all human beings need safe, secure emotional connections in their intimate relationships and that relationship distress occurs in moments of disconnection. 

EFT is one of the most thoroughly researched, clearly delineated and empirically validated approaches in the field of couples therapy. It reflects the most recent research on the nature of relationship distress, adult love and emotion. Research studies find that after treatment with EFT couples therapy, 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and 90% of couples show significant improvement.  EFT therapists view the couple's presenting issues through an attachment lens and they get to the heart of their problems.  

EFT is being taught all over the world in many languages. The San Francisco Center for EFT offers EFT trainings in English and Spanish.


Learning EFT in San Francisco

As an organization committed to excellence in EFT training, the San Francisco Center for EFT (SFCEFT) offers all levels of instruction: Introductions to the EFT model, 4-day EFT Externships, Core Skills Trainings in EFT and EFT Core Skills Refreshers. In addition, it offers Special Topic EFT trainings such as EFT Certification Intensives, the Forgiveness Training for Therapists and the Attunement Training for Therapists. SFCEFT facilitates and sponsors workshops by ICEEFT Certified Supervisors and Trainers in a variety of special topics and supports the growth, development and mission of the Northern California Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NCCEFT). For more information on joining NCCEFT, participating in EFT Community events and trainings, receiving the NCCEFT Listerv and to be listed on the EFT therapist directory, please visit NCCEFT.com

Dr Sue Johnson's Article on Latest EFT Research  Changes in Relationship-Specific Attachment in EFT


We are delighted to inform you that Scientific American, the internationally respected journal of scientific discovery and research news has published a wonderfully accessible article about Sue Johnson's work with attachment and helping people have more fulfilling relationships. You can view or download the complete article here. 

SFCEFT Core Principles & Values

At the San Francisco Center for EFT we aim to cultivate a climate of inclusion, an environment where all can feel safe, valued, cared for, and given an opportunity to form meaningful connections with each other.  In all facets of our work we strive to embody what we hope to see in the world - a just, loving humanity and community in which people are free to be themselves fully - where people can embrace their most basic universal human attachment needs without fear of persecution or marginalization as a result of religion, race, ethnic or national origin, sexual/affectional orientation and preferences, gender expression, family structure, age, class, mental health, physical character or disability.  These values are inherent in the attachment science and humanistic approach to intervention that all our work is based on.  

Specifically, humanistic approaches such as EFT are collaborative and respectful. We create a safe place for people and treat them as persons not problems or types. Our approach is non‐pathologizing in practice. Our values are inclusive and egalitarian while viewing human connection as sacred ‐ something to be honored and cultivated. Our scientific and theoretical base outlines key universals, emotion and attachment, while respecting individual differences. 

At the San Francisco  Center for Emotional Focused Therapy (SFCEFT) and at the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), we adhere to the philosophy that relationships are at the core of human experience. Research indicates that emotionally fulfilling relationships are integral components of mental and physical health, and that emotionally focused interventions have the power to establish and re‐create supportive bonds among individuals. We are therefore dedicated to the understanding and enhancement of couple and family relationships through an emphasis on emotions and their interpersonal impact. We believe that all people can maximize their potential given a nurturing social environment, which we endeavor to foster in our work with clients.

SFCEFT@gmail.com © Sam Jinich 2017