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San Francisco Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

Learn an empirically validated couple’s therapy approach to creating loving relationships

Transform the way you work with couples and help create deep, lasting, loving bonds.

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In Memory of Dr. Sue Johnson 1947- 2024

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Sue Johnson on April 23, 2024. Dr. Johnson was a beloved teacher, therapist, author, and the pioneering innovator of emotionally focused therapy (EFT). Her remarkable contributions have left an indelible mark on the field of therapy and the lives of countless individuals, couples, and families worldwide. She was also a cherished friend, whose warmth and wisdom profoundly touched all who knew her. See the full obituary here

Affiliations and Mission

The San Francisco Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (SFECFT) is affiliated with the International Centre For Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) in Ottawa, Canada and the Northern California Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NCCEFT) in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SFCEFT supports therapists by providing training and supervision in EFT, building a local network of EFT practitioners and connecting therapists with skilled EFT supervisors and consultants.

Dr. Sam Jinich

Sam Jinich, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
ICEEFT Certified EFT
Trainer, Supervisor & Therapist


Paul Guillory, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
ICEEFT Certified EFT Supervisor, Therapist & EFT Trainer

Dr. Sue Johnson

Dr. Sue Johnson
EFT Founder

A landmark study of EFT shows that we can now effectively help couples, not just understand their relationship a little better or fight a little less, but create the secure loving bonds that soothe our brains.” — Dr. Sue Johnson

4 Day Externship in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

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Join EFT trainers Dr. Sam Jinich and Dr. Lisa Palmer-Olsen and special guest Dr. Hannah Levinson for this four day in-person EFT externship. Start your journey to becoming a certified EFT therapist by learning how to apply attachment science to build attachment security in loving relationships. Transform the way you work with couples and deepen your abilities to explore attachment related emotions, including unmet attachment needs and fears in a way that restructures insecure bonds into secure loving relationships. Expand your therapeutic skills with state of the art, empirically proven psychotherapy interventions and gain confidence and understanding in the EFT approach by learning effective and proven macro and micro interventions.

Learn how to help couples strengthen their loving attachment bond and improve closeness and connection with Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), developed by Dr. Sue Johnson.

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 Emotionally Focused Therapy Banner

Dr Sue Johnson’s Article on Latest EFT Research:

Changes in Relationship-Specific Attachment in EFT

Scientific American Recognizes Sue Johnson’s Work in Human Attachment!

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. View the complete article here.

Deciphering The Language Of Love - Dr. Sue Johnson

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.

Additional Resources

Hold Me Tight Workshop Logo

Couples Workshop based on Emotionally Focused Therapy

Attachment Theory In Practice Book Cover

Attachment Theory in Practice is a “must read” seminal book by Dr. Sue Johnson

Iceeft Logo

Visit the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy