What happens during an Externship? (and some terrific testimonials!)

I’d never heard the word ‘externship’ before starting my own EFT training over 10 years ago and it’s still not a word I hear much outside of EFT circles.  Wikipedia defines it as an ‘experiential learning opportunity’ that gives ‘short, practical experience in a field of study’. I think of it as a relatively brief, but deep immersion in EFT that helps you understand the model both cognitively and experientially so you can practice it in your work.

The Externship is a 4-day intensive training in the theory, treatment process and interventions of Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples. We cover the roots of EFT as a humanistic, experiential and systemic model, the influence of adult attachment theory and treatment techniques that help you work with emotion to help your couples shift from distress to secure engagement. Our goal is to have you finish the training with the knowledge and skills needed to implement EFT in your clinical work. Between us, Lisa and I have done dozens of externships and we’re constantly looking for new ways to bring the ideas and skills alive for participants.

We follow a basic plan of describe – demonstrate – practice to help you get EFT in your head and in your heart. We also teach experientially: we’re speaking to your right brain too. In fact this is often the way therapists get a personalized, intuitive grasp of how attachment and emotions shape relationships.

First the description. The first day is the most didactically oriented as we lay the foundation for understanding couple distress through an attachment lens and give you an overview of the process and key interventions of the model. Over the next three days, we build on this, by providing more details on the course of treatment, how EFT works actively with emotion and the three key change events: Cycle De-escalation, Withdrawer Re-engagement and Pursuer Softening. You can see we cover some content each day and we’ll also take questions regarding the material. After all, most therapists come to EFT after being grounded in other treatment approaches and it’s natural to compare and contrast in learning a new approach.

We demonstrate the model by showing and discussing videos showing various expert EFT practitioners so you have the chance to see how we all bring ourselves as therapists and use the model differently. We’ll also conduct two live demonstration sessions that will bring the model to life in the moment. Along the way we’ll likely do brief, impromptu role-plays that model specific interventions.

Finally, the practice. During break out role-play sessions, facilitated by an advanced practitioner, you’ll practice basic EFT skills. Even experienced therapists often find it challenging, but tremendously useful, to try out the interventions in this structured, guided, supportive environment. This is often a key element in helping therapists truly grasp the power of the model; not surprisingly, we find that participants learn in their roles as both therapist and client.

Or course it’s not all work! We’ll have some fun along the way and provide an opportunity for folks to meet and network outside the training. Hope you can join us.

A few comments on recent externships:

“Great trainers and additional support from EFT practitioners in the area. Wonderful group of supportive role play leaders that really help to advance your skills.”

 “I am extremely grateful & pleased at the breadth and depth of knowledge of both couples therapy and EFT. Both facilitators were very accessible and provided safety for the work. There honestly isn’t anything that I found lacking or frustrating.”

“Excellent. Loved the roleplay, real, interactive style of both presenters.”

“My individual goal was to translate this model from head knowledge to embodied knowledge. The role plays were extremely helpful for me to know what it looks like and feels like to practice this model. Thanks!”

“I really enjoyed you both. It was very safe, supportive and enriching, professionally and personally. Thank you!”

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