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The NCCEFT began as a project initiated by a group of San Francisco Bay Area EFT therapists who had been meeting for several years for clinical consultation and the study of EFT. In an effort to continue building and expanding the EFT community in Northern California, this group launched the first EFT Community meeting on May 3, 2007.

The Community has evolved as a membership organization where all can initiate and participate with others in implementing the NCCEFT mission.

Quarterly meetings promote the mission by:

  • Facilitating communication and connection among EFT clinicians
  • Sharing resources
  • Supporting skill-building opportunities
  • Organizing events for EFT clinicians

Contact Us

General inquiries: ncceftinfo@gmail.com

Membership: ncceft.membership@gmail.com

Programs and events: ncceft.programs@gmail.com 

Technology-related issues: ncceft.tech@gmail.com

4096 Piedmont Avenue #327
Oakland CA 94611-5221

The NCCEFT follows the guidelines of the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), directed by Susan Johnson, Ed.D.

To learn more about the International Center for Excellence in EFT go to www.ICEEFT.com.

NCCEFT Board of Directors and Program Committee 

July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020


July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Annie Asch, LMFT, Chief Financial Officer


Annie Asch has worked with individuals and couples in her Marin County private practice for over 20 years. She began learning EFT in 2013 and is so happy to have found her theoretical home and to be bringing this model of therapy to her clients.  She volunteered for one year on the Program Committee and then moved to the board as the CFO. She is starting her 4th year in this position and loves supporting this community of therapists dedicated to the lifelong learning EFT. In her previous life, she worked as a dog and horse trainer, trained service dogs for people with disabilities, and did her undergraduate and graduate research on animal language capabilities and pet assisted psychotherapy

Laura Firestone, LMFT Chair Elect/Secretary


Laura Firestone returns to the board after 4 years of being the Director at Large.  Since getting introduced to EFT in 2013, she has been invested in growing her San Francisco private practice around couples work, providing pre-marital work through a previously led pre-marital group for engaged and newly married couples and serving the NCCEFT community.  Laura earned a Master of Science in Marriage Family Therapy at Northwestern University and prior to this studied psychology as an undergraduate at University of California, Davis. She was a research assistant at both UC Davis and UC Berkeley investigating marital communication and the role of emotion on long-term marriages.  It only makes sense she later found her home clinically with EFT.

When Laura is not involved with her EFT work, you will most likely hear about her adventures on the trail running a race, rock climbing or practicing her yoga.

Grady M. Fort , LMFT, Technology Coordinator
My first introduction to EFT came years ago from a colleague to whom I will always be grateful. I bring awareness of the whole body to my practice from my training as a Feldenkrais Practitioner, a somatic education and bodywork system focused on helping people gain greater awareness of how to bring ease and connection through their bodies and movement. I have also studied extensively with Hakomi, which has a wonderful overlap with

EFT in that it is a present process, mindfulness based somatic psychotherapy. My personal passions are to be in nature, spending time with my large and loud family, and travel, whether that be backpacking to an alpine lake or internationally. I’m glad to be given an opportunity to give back to the NCCEFT community. Increasing my EFT knowledge base continues to be an incredible source of depth and transformation for both myself as a person, as well as my work as a clinician.

Rachel Garcia, LMFT new Member at Large


Raquel Garcia, LMFT: I was born and raised in Spain, and came to the US 25 years ago. After studying business administration and working in that field for a while, I soon discovered it was not my professional “home". The answer to the call to study psychotherapy felt as clear to me as any "yes" that resonates in all areas of one's being. As spirituality and healing are integral and crucial to my path and a human being and therapist, I chose the Integral Studies Program at CIIS and earned my MA Integral Counseling Psychology in 2006. Since then I have worked in a variety of community mental health settings at local organizations including Instituto familiar de la Raza, Lee Woodward Counseling Center for Women, Baker Places Dual Diagnosis Residential Treatment Program, La Casa de las Madres and Reilly Center, working with experiencers of domestic violence; I have been working at Kaiser SF, in the Department of Psychiatry for 7 years. As a clinician I specialize in Complex Trauma, especially trauma resulting from from the absence of healthy attachment early in childhood. In 2017 I started my private practice in San Francisco and as it has grown have opened an additional office in the city.

I work with couples, families and individuals in both English and Spanish integrating EMDR, Somatics, Imagery, DBT and EFT. I work with attachment and humanistic lenses, collaborating closely with clients and carefully considering interpersonal, internal, systemic and multigenerational systems. Social justice, equality,  empowerment, trusting the inner self, are pillars I hold sacred. When I discovered EFT I quickly felt it matches my orientation, views, and ways of working. I deeply believe and have experienced the healing power of connection, inner and mutual acceptance, and it is my desire and intention to support individuals, couples, families and communities in this path. I do believe we heal and flourish in connection with both our internal and external systems.  

Cathie Gordon, LMFT, LPCC, Board Chair

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After serving for a year as Chair Elect, Cathie Gordon returns to the board as Chair. An LMFT and LPCC with a private practice in Napa, Cathie specializes in working with couples navigating infidelity and parenting issues as well as couples and individuals with a trauma history.

Cathie’s trainings and experience include: advanced training in EFT working toward certification, Gottman Method, Ellyn/Bader Couples Institute, Mindfulness and Somatic Practices and EMDR with an attachment focus. She holds a Master’s Degree from Sonoma State University and has practiced in community health and school settings, and provided bereavement counseling at Hospice. Whileher formal education and trainings have been instrumental in her professional development, Cathie believes her most valuable lessons have come from her 31-year marriage and the parenting of her own three children, now 28, 26 and 21. The lessons learned in these relationships certainly inform her work with clients. 

Bart Hatler, LMFT, Membership Coordinator


Bart Hatler is the current NCCEFT Membership Coordinator and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a San Francisco-based practice that focuses on couples counseling and dating therapy.  He holds Masters degrees in Spiritual Psychology and Integral Counseling Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and California Institute of Integral Studies, respectively.  Bart has a background in somatic therapies, having worked as a bodywork and clinical massage therapist for 20 years and has been translating that experience into the practice of somatic and neurologically-oriented psychotherapies, including Hakomi Body-Centered Psychotherapy and EFT Couples Therapy.

His experience and training include work with: The Couples Center, The Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street, Gottman Method Couples Counseling, the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, ongoing professional consultation groups, and he is working towards certification in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. 

Terri Roberson, PsyD Member at Large  

Bill Ward, LMFT, Director at Large

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My work as an Advanced Level Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist (EFT) began in my early training as a Family Therapist. I worked with parents to collaboratively improve many of the problems that adolescents experience as they transition into adulthood. Children and adolescents need to feel heard, connected emotionally, and safe with their parents to respond positively to life’s challenges.


 Out of this my passion began to lean toward working with couples to address and remedy destructive communication, breaches in trust, infidelity issues, premarital counseling, and sexual incompatibility. Most couples discover they are stuck in a negative cycle of communication that leads to behaviors and reactive responses that take on a life of their own. This can lead to feelings of disconnection, loneliness and distress. My approach allows couples to exit negative cycles of communication and to transform their relationship into one that is more secure, intimate and deeply connected.


Further, I have significant experience in working with individuals addressing addiction to alcohol and substance use, sexually compulsive behavior, severe depression, and anxiety. I approach all clients with empathy, insight, respect and a working knowledge of how to help.

Rebecca Wrangham, LMFT Member at Large


I have been licensed as an MFT since 2001, and found EFT and the EFT community 2014, with the Externship.  I finally took Core Skills in 2017, and am currently (and not quickly enough!) working towards certification with Tesa Carlsen.  I currently work with individuals and couples in private practice in San Francisco.  I have worked with children in a special education school setting and facilitated social-emotional groups for kids, as well as worked in suicide prevention.  I have three sons, live in San Rafael (but originally come from New England), love to hike in the hills around our house, travel, take photographs, read, and knit. 


Andrew Copperman, LMFT, Chair, Program Committee

Andrew Copperman has worked with individuals and couples in Marin County and San Francisco in private practice since 2010. I am so happy to have found my theoretical home and therapeutic identity. It is exciting and gratifying to see the effectiveness of this therapy for couples and to participate in their journey towards intimacy.  I am pleased to be part of the Board of Directors to meet people in the NCCEFT community and to help support EFT.  I am also teaching EFT as the Director of Couples Therapy at CIP, a Marin County Low Fee agency. In my previous career I worked in finance helping individuals manage money through stocks.

Suzanne Berens, Hospitality, Program Committee


I have a full-time private practice in the Elmwood area of Berkeley and am passionate about working with couples. After several years of working as a therapist for families with children 5 and under I attended EFT trainings and was hooked. I was used to viewing relationships through an attachment lens when I worked with children and parents, so learning EFT in some ways felt like coming home. 

I was also trained in Hakomi, which is a mindfulness-based somatically oriented approach to therapy. Being informed by Hakomi helps me deepen couples into a felt-sense of their emotions by helping them notice what they feel in their bodies. Hakomi and EFT have felt like good complements to each other. 

Therapy, however, is a second career for me. I worked as a journalist for many years before becoming a therapist. I lost my beloved fellow-journalist husband to cancer several years ago. When I started learning EFT I realized that he and I had been implementing many of the bonding and healing tenets of EFT on our own. So, practicing EFT has clinical but also very personal meaning to me. I also find myself integrating who I was as a journalist into my practice. The skills and qualities that built trust and rapport and encouraged my sources to open up and share vulnerable information come in handy in therapy. 

I look forward to continuing to serve the NCCEFT community and connect with its wonderful members.

Jonathan Howard, PsyD, Chair Elect, Program Committee

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Jonathan has worked as a psychologist in California at a variety of counseling and medical center settings for overt 20 years. He also worked as a psychological evaluator, and took a break from clinical practice to live as a mostly-stay-at-home Dad with his wife and two (now teenage) children. His return to clinical work refocused his passion for working with couples. Prior to acquiring the language of EFT, he appreciated our human inclination to develop connections, and that our ongoing aliveness, healing and growth happen within the context of relationships. So, it’s no surprise he feels at home in the collaborative nature of EFT, and as Sue Johnson described it, “the requirement of working from a therapeutic alliance in which the therapist is personally and emotionally present” for the sake of our clients’ transformational change. Jonathan is also practicing and pursuing advanced training in the application of EFT with individuals as they navigate experiences of trauma, disruption and transition. Additionally, Jonathan also works as a personal coach from the Coactive model of coaching and leadership development. His offices are in Berkeley and San Francisco. 

Lisa Kully, LMFT Program Committee


Lisa Kully has been in private practice for over 20 years and sees individual adults and couples in Rockridge/Oakland. She is certified in both Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy and EFT. (In her previous career, she was a Teacher of the Deaf and School Counselor.)  Lisa is fortunate to work with the full range of humanity; her clients span many identities, sexual orientations, gender expressions, cultures, “traditional” and “non-traditional” life-styles, and reasons for coming to therapy.  Hakomi’s somatic/mindfulness focus and EFT attachment-based approach beautifully support and deepen each other.  As the behind-the-scenes registration volunteer, Lisa enjoys giving back to the cherished NCCEFT community and the broader EFT network

Jessica Muzio Hospitality, Program Committee,

I am an Oakland-based Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in serving those with diverse, non-mainstream identities, experiences and relationship styles. In addition to private practice work, I facilitate support groups for women with cancer at the Women's Cancer Resource Center.

I was introduced to EFT during my graduate program, and feel fortunate that my initial exposure to couples therapy was through this lens. I have tremendous gratitude for the learning and growth I have experienced through studying and practicing this model, and for the vibrant and supportive community of colleagues that make up NCCEFT. I am looking forward to getting to know more of you as a member of the Program Committee.

Dean Paquette, Program Committee

Margaret Peterson, Program Committee

Margaret Petersen MFT has been an active member of the EFT community for many years. She is an ongoing Program Committee member of NCCEFT and has presented at multiple NCCEFT quarterly meetings and events. Margaret's background in Hakomi and her relational and inquiry work background richly compliments EFT's attachment-based model for creating safe and loving connections with couples and families. When not seeing couples and supporting and/or attending EFT trainings, Margaret can be found on the bike trails of the East Bay and kayaking or sailing with her partner of 31 years in and around the Bay Area, California. 

Get in Touch

4096 Piedmont Avenue, Suite #327
Oakland CA 94611-5221


In association with the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

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