About ChicagoEFT

What is EFT?

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.


ChicagoEFT supports therapists by providing humble, culturally aware and sensitive training and supervision in EFT; building an inclusive, local community of skilled EFT practitioners; and helping connect clients to skilled EFT therapists. ChicagoEFT is affiliated with ICEEFT, the International Centre for Excellence in EFT. Trainings offered through ChicagoEFT are endorsed by ICEEFT.


ChicagoEFT values community and connection. Guided by the pillars of attachment science, we offer a felt sense of safety, attunement, comfort, and dignity, along with the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. We provide excellent EFT trainings, welcome feedback, and encourage the application of the model of EFT to our community’s varied lived experiences.

Recognizing the past and present marginalization of many people on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, age, socio-economic status and more, we welcome all. Believing that we all learn and grow from the richness of our varied experiences and perspectives, we value diversity, inclusivity, and equity on our Board, with our Trainers and Supervisors, and in our live demonstrations and case consultations. And when we make mistakes and fall short of these values, we commit to repairing the rupture and beginning anew.

Board Members

Robyn Gobin, Volunteer Coordinator
Gretchen Harro, Trainer and Vice President
Jean Lee, Secretary
Nikki Lively, Marketing Director
Anne Rossen, Membership Director
Ileana Ungureanu, Continuing Education Credits Director
Marcia Vickman, President and Training Director
Fei Yee, Treasurer