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:
General inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Programs and events: email@example.com
Technology-related issues: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
Laura Firestone, LMFT, Chair
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.
Jessica Montague, LMFT, Chair Elect
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
Bill Ward, LMFT, Director at Large
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.
Joanne Robb, LMFT, Membership Coordinator
Eric Mill, LMFT, Website Liaison
I have been learning EFT since graduate school when I had the privilege to train in an EFT focused clinic at the San Diego VA Hospital. In being able to work with Veterans and their partners my early training has seen the power of attachment and bonding that EFT provides. Since moving to Oakland I have been able to train in our local Northern California community to become Certified in EFT and I am now supporting others as a EFT Supervisor Candidate.
Judy Huang, AMFT, Member at Large
A lifelong learner, Judy is grateful to have been on the EFT path since training with Dr. Sue Johnson in 2018. Judy was awarded the 2019 NCCEFT Scholarship in support of her work in bringing EFT to communities of color in northern California. In addition to EFT work with couples and other relationship configurations, Judy sees individual adults and adolescents at her East Bay-based private practice associateship (supervised by MacKenzie Stuart, LMFT), and at The Psychotherapy Institute’s depth psychotherapy post-grad program (supervised by Cara Zeisloft, LCSW).
Judy especially welcomes to her practice people whose identities and experiences are underrepresented, underserved, and marginalized. These aspects of identity may include, but are not limited to: relationship configuration, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, weight, religion, spirituality, class, ethnicity, and race. Judy is committed to therapeutic work that undoes systemic harm, work that empowers and affirms; she works with the person as a whole.
Judy’s advocacy efforts at the macro level extend to her Board work for the Asian American Psychological Association’s Division on Practice. Judy is delighted to serve on the NCCEFT Board and belong to this warm, close-knit NCCEFT community.
Alicia Melgoza, LMFT, Member at Large
Jonathan Howard, PsyD, Program Committee Chair
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.
Terri Roberson, PsyD, Program Committee Chair Elect
Rebecca Wrangham, LMFT, Registration Coordinator
Mena Zaminsky, PsyD, LMFT, CE Coordinator
Mena Zaminsky holds a Doctorate of Psychology in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Expressive Arts Therapist and a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC). She has a psychotherapy private practice in San Francisco and Berkeley, with a strong somatic focus and a specialty in trauma. Mena has training in Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Psycho-physical Therapy, Polyvagal Informed Treatment and EMDR, among other trainings.
From 2016 – 2018, Mena was the Program Chair and served on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Community for Emotionally Focused Therapists (NCCEFT). She is currently working towards EFT certification.
Mena’s other experience includes being the Director of Outpatient Services for Walden House, working under Health Care for the Homeless at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic and serving as Associate Director of the Addictions Counselor Certificate Program at City College of San Francisco, where, since 2001, she worked as an adjunct faculty member and served on their Community Advisory Board. Mena has taught at JFK and CIIS Universities and has taught workshops on Trauma and the Creative Process and Addictions and the Creative Process. She is a former board member and newsletter co-chair for the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.
In her free time, she likes continuing to learn as well as hanging out with her dog Moe, hiking, kayaking, and doing creative activities!
Shannon Navarro, LMFT, Hospitality
Fran Reich, LCSW, Hospitality
Margaret Peterson, LMFT, Speaker Liaison
In association with the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy