Shalem is celebrating with one of our therapists, Susan Winter Fledderus, who has recently become certified in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.
Not only is Susan the first Certified EFT therapist at Shalem, she is also the first in Hamilton, Ontario to achieve this designation. We are excited about how this puts Shalem at the leading edge in offering and promoting this important resource for couples and communities in the Greater Hamilton Area.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) has been the primary model of therapy offered at Shalem for couples working on improving their relationships. It is a powerful approach that to addresses the longings and needs we have for connection and closeness with our partner. It goes beyond conflict resolution or simple behavioural change to help couples understand the patterns of interactions that develop and the emotions and relationship needs that fuel them.
EFT is an attachment-focused therapy model, which means that it recognizes the importance of our relationship connections with significant people, helps us understand what goes wrong when those relationships become distressed, and gives a clear road-map for repairing what has gone wrong and restoring closeness and intimacy.
This same attachment-focused approach underlies the other work we do at Shalem, whether individual counselling, parenting or family work, or work with youth or families in community. Shalem’s therapy team has a rich culture of being immersed in learning and working together within this approach and collaborating in their professional development.
Therapists who provide EFT require many levels of training and supervision to become certified by the ICEEFT (International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy). Certification is the process by which a therapist’s expertise in the model is recognized, ensuring that the model is being used accurately and effectively with couples. All of the couple therapists at Shalem have the core EFT training, and are at various levels of completion of the process, but Susan is the first to finish this rigorous program.
The certification process relies on the voluntary participation of a few couples who are willing to give their consent for their sessions to be recorded for the purpose of supervision and evaluation of the therapist. Couples who participate in this way have the benefit of their therapist being supervised by a leading expert in the field, which enhances the therapy. Their participation is also a huge gift, not only for the therapist’s learning, but also for all the future couples who will benefit from having highly trained, certified EFT therapists as they work on their relationships.
Shalem has also hosted several conferences, bringing in Dr. Sue Johnson, the leading developer of EFT, as keynote speaker. Shalem regularly offers Hold Me Tight® workshops, which are based on the same model and designed for couples who are interested in strengthening their relationship but don’t necessarily need or want couple therapy.
If you or another couple you know could benefit from EFT-based workshops or therapy, check out our website to learn more about the resources available.
“Hold Me Tight®” is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.