The EFT Externship: The end of a search and the beginning of a journey, Jean Lee PsyD

I was trained mainly as an individual therapist. Heavily influenced by the psychodynamic perspective, the idea was to go down and deep into an individual’s psyche. However, since my pre-doctoral internship days, my caseload has always included a small number of couples. I’ve always been fascinated by them…and scared of them. They intrigued me, but they also mystified me. I could not figure out the code to unlocking couple therapy, so I went on a hunt.

I went to workshops and talks by Daniel Wile, the Gottmans, the Hendrixes, Bader & Pearson, Cloe Madanes, Michele Weiner-Davis, and Terry Real. And those are just the ones I remember. Yes, I saw them all in person. And while all of them had something useful to say, nothing “clicked.” So I kept searching for the couple therapy approach that I felt would be worth my time and investment into further training. In the meantime, I was still floundering in my couple work, yet still doggedly trying to figure it out.

And then I found it.

I was at the big Evolution of Psychotherapy conference in December 2009 where I first saw Susan Johnson in action. In an arena of that could seat 7,500 people, she met with a couple who was willing to do a live session with her in the middle of that arena. This wasn’t a role-play of a couple, but a real couple with a real problem they were trying to overcome. And maybe 15 minutes into the session, Sue went down and deep into this couple’s world. From the distance where I was sitting in that cavernous place, I was struck with how intimate Sue got, how fast she got there, and how on-target she was. A hush came over that place as we could all feel the shifts happening right in front of us. It was palpable and real. I was utterly dumbfounded by what I saw. And I remember thinking to myself, “THAT is what I need.” However, I did not know how to get it. So when I saw an ad for the 2013 Chicago EFT externship taught by Susan Johnson herself, I did not hesitate to sign up for the 4-day intensive workshop. It did not disappoint. I learned how Sue creates the experiential moment – the moment of change – not by chance or mere intuition. It was broken down into an elegant theory of change, with intentional stages and steps that one could rely on time and again.

I’m on a different hunt in my couple therapy quest now, seeking expertise in this model that is flexible enough – yet potent enough – to work for almost every couple I’ve seen. Four and a half years later, I’m still finding that EFT “clicks.” I haven’t looked back since.

The 2018 EFT Externship is coming up in June!  Don’t miss your opportunity to learn about this cutting edge treatment!