Queering EFT for Same Sex Couples

Workshop Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018

Workshop Time:  Registration – 8:00 am (Coffee and Bagels) Workshop 8:30 - 1:00

Workshop Location: Flex Classroom, Annunciation Bldg, College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, NJ

Workshop Fee: $80 - Refund minus $25 servicing fee until May 23rd


Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an empirically supported approach to couples therapy and offers a clear structure and map for working with all couples—across cultures and those with a myriad of additional presenting problems.  EFT aims to create a secure attachment bond as a source of resilience to face the difficulties of life together as a team. 

Same sex couples present a particular challenge to couples’ therapists.  LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer) clients wonder if their therapists truly understand where they’re coming from.  Their attachment styles and couple’s cycle often seem complex.  Sex seems to come into the therapy room more readily, including questions about sexual activity outside the primary relationship. 

The approach of this workshop will be to build upon Emotionally Focused Therapy for LGBTQ clients and others, with a stance of openness and curiosity; by allowing the clients name their own truths; and teaching and modeling attachment.  In “Queering EFT” Stephen McDonnell is informed by Trauma treatment, AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) and Sex Therapy. 

Stephen McDonnell, LCSW is a certified therapist and supervisor in EFT, and a certified therapist in AEDP.  His practice is near Penn Station, NYC.  He’s been in practice since 1995. 

Objective #1: Demonstrate a clear understanding of the attachment-based approach of EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy)—identifying and changing all aspects of a couple’s interactive dynamic cycle.

Objective #2: Increase capacity to identify and intervene with sexual identity and expression issues within the emotional attachment cycle.

Objective #3 Describe three desire-response cycles. 

Objective #4 List four specific interventions when working with same sex couples.

Objective #5 Identify and practice emotion regulation skills when working with a client who exhibits disorganized attachment.  

Objective #6: Demonstrate moment-to-moment tracking while watching a therapist work with a same sex couple on videotape. 

Objective #7:  Name one self-of-the-therapist challenge when working with a same sex client or couple.  

* The New Jersey Collaborative for Emotionally Focused Therapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The New Jersey Collaborative for Emotionally Focused Therapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

 To view NJCEFT Grievance procedure please click HERE