Integrating Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)

with W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D.

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is an effective, evidence based approach to working with couples. Research studies have found that 70-73% of couples move from distress to recovery and 86% show significant improvements when treated with EFT. This collaborative approach mixes experiential Rogerian techniques with structural, systemic interventions that extend the ideas of attachment theory to romantic relationships. Advances in the study of emotional regulation support EFT's use of emotion as a primary source of information to the self and to others about needs and motives as a primary route to connecting with attachment figures.

In this course, Dr. Sutton reviews the research and theoretical basis for EFT, and teaches the techniques of EFT. The workshop will include videos of EFT used with a couple in Stage 1 as well as a couple in Stage 2, in order to see the theory and techniques in action. Although EFT will be the majority of the focus of this workshop, Dr. Sutton will also review the history of couples therapy and discuss how he uses various concepts from other couples therapy theories, to inform is empathic conjectures, reflections, and enactments with couples who he is treating with EFT. He will discuss Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Fighting for Your Marriage by Howard Markman, Ph.D., Love Languages, Sex Therapy Techniques, Working with Couples in a Step Family, Domestic Violence, and recovering from affairs. He will also present evidence based protocols for working with individual issues such as ADHD, OCD, panic disorder, and trauma, and discuss how one might work with these issues in a couples context.

At the end of this training, participants will be able to:
▻  Describe how adult relationships are based on principals of attachment theory.
▻  Use tracking, reflections, and empathic conjecture to identify and track the couple’s cycle.
▻  Discuss the stages of EFT and how one leads into the other.
▻  Use one’s tempo, pace, pitch, and volume of their voice to heighten emotions.

W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D., is a psychologist who has been working with couples since 2004 using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy as well as Gottman Method Couples Therapy approaches. He is a certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist and Supervisor. Dr. Sutton primarily uses the techniques and theory of EFT, but finds the Gottman research and other approaches helpful in understanding couples experiences, thus assisting in tracking the cycle and reflections. He also incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EMDR into his work when treating individual issues within the context of the couple. He specializes in working with couples who have ADHD, Complex PTSD, anxiety disorders (e.g., Panic Attacks, OCD, Phobias, Generalized Anxiety), depression, and parents of children of all ages. His clinical practice is in San Francisco and Corte Madera, as well as anywhere throughout California via Zoom, and he is the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy and its nonprofit partner, Bay Area Community Counseling, where he teaches, supervises, and provides consultation to clinicians in training and licensed experienced clinicians.


  • Licensed Clinician (without CE)
  • $150 USD

  • Student / Prelicensed Clinician
  • $75 USD


Institute For The Advancement Of Psychotherapy