Getting Certified as an EFT Therapist

The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) certifies EFT therapists, EFT supervisors and EFT trainers. A certified EFT therapist is one whose expertise in this model of therapy is recognized by ICEEFT. The primary goals of certification are to promote excellence in the practice of EFT and EFFT and to ensure maintenance of these standards in both supervision and training of this approach.

The requirements and certification process for therapists are listed here. For information on certification for supervisors please visit 

Pre-requisites for certification:

  • A post-graduate degree in a relevant discipline/mental health field such as Social Work, Clinical Psychology, Education, Counseling, Marital and Family Therapy, and Pastoral Care.
  • Membership in a recognized professional association, such as AAMFT.
  • Current clinical therapy practice (must include some couples and/or families).
  • License to practice psychotherapy in the state/province in which the applicant resides.
  • Proof of malpractice insurance.
  • Completion of two graduate courses on the practice of couples/family therapy at a registered institution or equivalent.
  • Fee for review (

Step 1: Attend a Basic Externship

Completion of a four or five-day ICEEFT-approved Externship. Externships are led by certified EFT trainers. 
A full list of scheduled Externships can be found at 

Step 2: Acquire Individual and Group Supervision Hours

After completion of the Externship, clinicians can begin to accumulate supervision hours from either a certified EFT supervisor or an approved supervisor candidate. A full list of supervisors can be found at A list of NY Tri-State supervisors can be found on this site. ICEEFT requires that all certification applicants complete a minimum of eight individual supervision hours. Supervision can occur face-to-face or long distance over the phone, internet or through the mail. Long-distance supervision requires extra caution in protecting the confidentiality of the client material. Please review safe guards with your supervisor to ensure client confidentiality. All clients need to give written consent to their therapists to obtain EFT supervision on their case. In addition, therapists need to adhere to the rules and regulations as set forth by their local governing organizations. 

Each applicant will need to submit a letter of recommendation by his/her individual supervisor as part of the application packet.

Core Skills training provides all required group supervision hours. It is expected that applicants will complete approximately 48 hours of group supervision.

Step 3: Therapy Excerpts

Applicants are asked to provide two recorded therapy excerpts, one from Stage 1 and a second from Stage 2. The excerpts need only be approximately 20 minutes long. If the therapy excerpts are in audio format, then transcripts need to be provided. Additionally, the interventions used by the therapist need to be labeled.

Stage 1

The following elements should be included in the Stage 1 excerpt:

1. The therapist is using basic EFT skills. Specifically, the therapist is empathically attuning to the clients and using many or all of the following; reflecting, validating, reframing in terms of attachment, asking evocative questions, using evocative responding.

2. The therapist is working with the cycle in some way. Specifically, the therapist is doing some (or all) of the following interventions: tracking and or delineating the cycle, acknowledging secondary emotions, validating these and placing them within the context of the client's' experience, accessing primary emotions and validating them. Also, the therapist may be reframing the client's problem in terms of the cycle.

Stage 2

The following elements should be included in the Stage 2 excerpt:

1. The clients are experiencing emotion in the here and now, and they are moved by what transpires in the session.

2. The therapist is able to stay with this emotion and expand it, at some point moving it into an enactment(s).


Occasionally applicants may be asked to submit a second excerpt of therapy. This request may be made if, for example, the therapist did not address the cycle at all. In the Stage 2 excerpts, an example might be that the clients were not engages in emotion but rather talking about emotion from a cognitive distance.

Step 4: Case Descriptions and Conceptualization

There are certain elements that need to be included. An understanding of the couple's history and what brought them into therapy. The applicant should be able to describe the couple's cycle and to identify the type of cycle (pursue/withdraw for example), each partner's positions in the cycle, perhaps trigger (cues) that begin the cycle, and the clients' action tendencies and associated primary and secondary emotions. The therapist might be able to speculate on the clients' attachment styles (and histories) and on the models of self and other. A description of the course of therapy along with any change events, if applicable. Optionally, the applicant may include therapist's self-reflections.

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