When: Thursdays, September 20, October 4, October 18, November 1, November 15, 2018, 9am-12:15pm
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA
Instructor: Nancy Knudsen, LMFT
CE’s: 15 CE’s approved for LMFT’s, LICSW’s, LMHC’s, and Lic. Psychologists
All levels of experience welcome

Doing effective therapy with more than one person in the room is a whole different animal from working with an individual. If you have found yourself dazed and confused having stepped into a couple’s escalating conflict without a clear road map, then this course is for you. Likewise, if you are an experienced couple therapist wanting a new take on how to think about this complex and challenging work, this course is sure to energize you and up your skill set.

This 5-session Seminar Series can be taken as a whole for 15 CE’s, or as individual sessions without CE credits.

In this Seminar Series, you will:

  1. Learn how to conceptualize and identify the systemic feedback loop present in a couple conflict cycle.
  2. Become familiar with the underlying attachment needs of each member of the couple and what drives each partner to continue the escalation process.
  3. Understand the cue, emotion, cognitive appraisal, and behavioral response that occur for each partner in a cycle of distress.
  4. Learn how to name the negative cycle occurring between partners while simultaneously validating the emotional experience of each.
  5. Understand the importance of helping couples speak to each other directly about their emotional experiences in ways that elicit empathy.

*Note: This course does not take the place of the EFT 4-day Externship that is required for therapists wishing to pursue EFT certification.

*Special – September 6: “What’s So Special About EFT?”
A FREE 90 minute overview of the EFT model and why you should take this course. (Not required)

September 20: “Two of them, One of Me: The Art of Holding Two Perspectives”
Deep empathy is a key ingredient in any therapeutic alliance, but when there are competing views of the problem, we need to validate each person without taking sides. This class addresses how to build strong alliances with both members of the couple and properly assess them for effective treatment.

October 4: “Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: Identifying Negative Relationship Cycles in Distressed Couples”
As systems thinkers, we develop an ear for process over content, circular feedback loops over the more linear cause and effect approach. In this class, we learn how to track sequences of behavior, reframe the intent, and choreograph new interactions.

October 18: “There Is More Than Meets the Eye: Making Sense of Each Partner’s Deeper Emotions”
As couple therapists, we can serve as the safe attachment figure for each of the partners and help them explore their inner worlds and what drives them to feel and behave as they do.

November 1: “Learning Is Experience. Everything Else Is Just Information”
This quote from Einstein speaks to how couples learn new ways of relating to one another as well as how we as therapists best learn new approaches. This class will focus on learning how to facilitate effective enactments with couples. To drive in the point,  participants will practice each step experientially via role plays.

November 15: “Putting Together All the Pieces: The Elegant Integration of the Within and the Between”
Weaving the newly uncovered, more vulnerable emotions of each partner together with the emerging understanding of the negative interactional cycle, therapists learn how to help couples de-escalate while building empathy and capacity for connection.


Nancy Knudsen, LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Northampton, MA with over 30 years experience in the field. She uses a family systems orientation to work with individuals, couples, and families on a wide range of issues. Over the past 8 years, Nancy’s primary clinical modality has been Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is a certified EFT therapist as well as a certified EFT supervisor, and serves on the planning committee of the New England Center for  EFT. Nancy has taught a number of workshops on EFT for professionals. Additionally, she is a Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She is co-founder and co-director of the Couple and Family Institute of New England.

*Who qualifies for the Student/Agency Clinician Rate?
We offer this discounted rate to enable students and clinicians working in community mental health settings on a full-time basis to be able to participate. Group practices are not eligible.

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