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Leading, Being Led, Walking Beside: Collaboration with the Couple in EFT

  • 16 Jun 2018
  • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley 2407 Dana Street Berkeley, CA 94704
  • 0


(depends on selected options)

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Leading, Being Led, Walking Beside: Collaboration with the Couple in EFT

Presented by:

 Sarah Ackerman LMFT, Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor

Jamie Bachman LCSW, Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor 


Throughout our work with Emotionally Focused Therapy, we find ourselves naturally and instinctively shifting through three ways of being with couples. At times it feels we are leading them down a particular path. At other times we seek to stand right by their side as they explore their internal experience. And sometimes we find ourselves letting them lead the way into new territory. These shifts in our stance toward members of our couple represent key clinical decision points about how best to support our couples in their journey. And for many of us, one or more of these stances feel like an integral part of who we are as therapists.

In this meeting, we will explore these stances, and engage our collective curiosity about which we choose and when. Through discussion, video review, and small group exercises, we will increase our consciousness about these ways of being with couples and develop clarity about how each of these stances are a vital part of our work. Through Self of Therapist work, we will explore which of these feel like our most comfortable “go-to” ways of being, and which feel less a part of our repertoire. We will practice identifying the markers for what stance is called for, and how to engage couples from different stances. We hope participants will leave with more clarity and confidence about each of these ways of being with clients, and how they fit into our EFT journey! 


At the end of this offering, participants will be able to:

  • Identify three different therapist stances we use in EFT in relation to the couple: leading, walking beside, and following;
  • Describe optimal and non-optimal uses of these stances within the steps and stages of EFT;
  • Through Self-of-Therapist work, identify which of these three feel most and least comfortable to them;
  • Describe common markers for the need to shift from stance to stance within the steps.


Sarah Ackerman, LMFT

Sarah Ackerman, a certified EFT psychotherapist and supervisor, has had a private practice in Berkeley for more than 25 years. Trained initially in relational psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Women's Therapy Center in El Cerrito and subsequently with the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis of Northern California, she has more recently been immersed in attachment based modalities, most notably Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy as well as Diana Fosha’s AEDP model for individuals. She works with adult individuals and couples and supervises learners of EFT and has assisted in numerous Externships and Core Skills. This Fall she’ll be supporting EFT trainer Rebecca Jorgensen PhD, when she brings the first EFT Externship to Prague, Czechia. She has also co-facilitated Hold Me Tight groups with colleague Jamie Bachman, LCSW. Additionally she has a certification in Mind-Body Medicine from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in DC and has led many mind-body skills groups, both in her practice with Jamie as well as for the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Oakland, CA. She has served on the board of the Northern California Community of EFT Therapists and in the past served as co-chair of the board of directors of Women's Therapy Center and co-founded their community education series.

Jamie Bachman, LCSW

Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor, is in private practice in Oakland, serving primarily couples and families and providing clinical supervision. He co-facilitates EFT supervision groups with Sarah Ackerman, and has assisted at numerous Core Skills and Externships. This fall he will be offering a monthly online course called EFT Fundamentals, focusing on skills building and practice for therapists newer in their EFT journey, as well as co-teaching (with Sarah Ackerman and Rebecca Jorgensen) Beyond Core Skills, for therapists who have completed Core Skills and wish to deepen their practice. He is on the adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley’s MSW program, where he has taught Family Therapy and Theory in Practice courses. He is also on the faculty of the Psychotherapy Institute’s (TPI) Supervision Studies Program, and is a supervisor for TPI’s Post-Graduate Training Program. Jamie is a former Clinical Supervisor and Manager at Pathways Hospice, where he worked for twelve years. Jamie is also a Level II AEDP therapist, and received advanced training at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

10:00 AM - Networking and Professional Socialization (not included in CE credits)
10:30 AM - NCCEFT Announcements (not included in CE credits)

10:50 AM - Training begins
11:50 AM - 10-minute break (not included in CE credits)

12:00 noon - Training resumes
1:00 PM - Training ends

This training is appropriate for mental health practitioners who work with couples using Emotionally Focused Therapy.

This presentation is appropriate for mental health professionals who work with couples using Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Level is introductory to intermediate.

This training is free to members, who will receive Continuing Education (CE) credit at no charge.  This training is available to non-members for $10, and CE credit is available for an additional $25.  Payment may be made by cash or check made out to NCCEFT.  As payment is collected at the door, no refunds or cancellations are available.

This course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences;

Psychologists:  The Northern California Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NCCEFT) is approved by the CPA OPD to sponsor continuing professional education for psychologists in California. NCCEFT maintains responsibility for this program and its content. (Provider # NOR055)

NCCEFT is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  NCCEFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Provider # 93337

Those who attend this workshop in full, complete the course evaluation and sign in/out will receive CE credits. A certificate of completion will be provided at the end of the workshop. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire workshop.  Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credit.


NCCEFT meets all applicable local, state and federal standards, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42, U.S.C. 12101-12213 (2008)). We hold events only at professional venues that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42, U.S.C. 12101-12213 (2008)

ADA NEEDS: We will be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please contact us at NCCEFT.programs@gmail.com  at least two weeks prior to the seminar date.


The Northern California Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NCCEFT) is fully committed to conducting all activities in strict conformance with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. NCCEFT will comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content and in the treatment of program participants.  The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards will be the responsibility of the CPA PAS CE Program Director in consultation with the Board of Directors (Steering Committee).

While NCCEFT works to assure fair treatment for all participants and attempts to anticipate problems, there will be occasional issues which will require intervention and/or action on the part of NCCEFT. This procedural description serves as a guideline for handling such complaints.

When a participant, either orally or in written format, files a grievance and expects action on the complaint, the following actions will be taken:

1. If the complaint concerns a speaker, the content presented by the speaker, or the style of presentation, the individual filing the complaint will be asked to put his/her comments in written format. The CE Program Director will then pass on the comments to the speaker, assuring the confidentiality of the aggrieved individual.

2. If the complaint concerns a workshop offering, its content, level of presentation, or the facilities in which the workshop was offered, the CE Program Director will mediate and will be the final arbitrator. If the participant requests action during a workshop or conference, the CE Program Director or his/her representative will:

a. attempt to rectify the situation, and/or

b. provide a credit for a subsequent presentation, in the event of a program having an attendance fee or

c. provide a partial or full refund of the registration fee, in the event of a program having an attendance fee.

Actions 2b and 2c will require a written note, documenting the grievance, for record keeping purposes. The note need not be signed by the aggrieved individual.

3. If the grievance concerns the business practices of the NCCEFT CE program in a specific regard, the CE Program Director or Administrator will attempt to arbitrate.


In the event that a program presentation has an attendance fee, CANCELLATIONS are subject to a $50.00 processing fee and must be received 14 days prior to be eligible for a refund.

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775 East Blithedale Ave. #625

Mill Valley, CA 94941


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

NCCEFT is a professional association of therapists practicing Emotionally Focused Therapy in Northern California. Serving communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, and beyond; we have members throughout California and throughout the United States.
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