All couples have occasions when partners wound each another. The result is often a strain or even a rupture in the attachment bond. A key difference between those who thrive and those who merely survive – or don’t – is the ability to turn to each other, take risks to share vulnerabilities with their partner and ask for specific needs to be met. Those who cannot reconnect in this way generally resort to coping strategies – such as angry escalation or stoney withdrawal – that contribute added conflict or distance to the relationship.

Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples is an integrated model utilizing elements of humanistic, experiential and systemic approaches rooted in adult attachment theory. The actual content of couples’ arguments is generally much less important than how their interactions erode attachment security. The therapist’s task is to first help couples de-escalate conflict patterns, then promote engagement by creating the powerful bonding events that lead to lasting change.

Since the mid 1980’s, an ever-growing body of research, including randomized clinical trials and task analysis have shown EFT to be effective with both general and specific populations. It is currently one of the few couple therapy models to meet the APA criteria for empirically supported therapies. Therapists appreciate EFT’s clearly delineated change process and couples benefit from a therapy that not only explains their distress, but also provides a clear direction for relief. For a short summary of EFT research visit the ICEEFT site.


CCEFT supports therapists by providing training and supervision in EFT, building the local community of skilled EFT practitioners and helping connect couples with skilled EFT therapists. CCEFT is affiliated with the ICEEFT, the International Centre for Excellence in EFT. Trainings offered through CCEFT are endorsed by ICEEFT.

The Director of CCEFT

Jeff has over 25 years experience working with couples, about half of that specializing in EFT. In over 5 years as an EFT trainer he has led Externships, Core Skills and Specialized Trainings in Chicago and around the country to consistently high praise. In addition to having a private practice focused on couples Jeff is a Certified Sex Therapist and he has a special interest in bringing improved sex lives to couples and increased awareness of sexual health concerns to the practice of couple therapy.

Board Members

John Amendt, Treasurer
Gretchen Harro, Website Director
Jeff Hickey, President
Jean Lee, Secretary
Nikki Lively, Marketing Director
Josh Marder, Social Media Director
Anne Rossen, Membership Director
Marcia Vickman, Vice President and Training Director
Ileana Ungureanu, Continuing Education Credits Director