Past Events Archive 2018-06-20T13:53:52+00:00

What’s So Special About EFT?

When: Thursday, September 6, 2018, 9am-10:30am
Where: TBA
Instructor: Nancy Knudsen, LMFT
Rate: FREE

A 90 minute overview of the EFT model and the science of love as developed by Dr. Susan Johnson.

This can be taken on its own or as an introduction to our Seminar Series Jumping into the Fray: An Introduction to Working With Couples Using Emotionally Focused Therapy


Follow the Emotion: An EFT Refresher Course

When: Friday and Saturday, May 18-19, 2018, 9-4:30
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA 01060
Instructor: Nancy Knudsen, LMFT

This workshop was designed for those who had already received basic training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, but want to review theory and practice. Some didactic, some video demos, and some experiential exercises kept each day lively and varied.

Day 1: The Challenges of De-Escalation

The De-Escalation Stage of EFT Treatment took couples through the heightened negative cycle of conflict and disconnection to a place of new possibilities based on an emerging capacity for mutual empathy. Sound easy enough?

Participants reviewed steps 1-4 of Stage One Treatment along with the EFT skills involved, and troubleshot the common places where EFT therapists get stuck.

Day 2: Strengthening the Bond

Once a couple’s conflict cycle is quieted, many couples experience such relief that they are ready to terminate. But the real magic of EFT is actually the Stage Two work. This is when we help the couple deepen their bond with a new level of openness and vulnerability. Day 2 reviewed steps 5-7, first with withdrawer re-engagement and then pursuer softening, along with the EFT skills involved.

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT has devoted her 30 year career to serving couples and families in distress, most recently using the model of Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is a Certified EFT Supervisor, a Past President of MAMFT, a Founding Member of the New England Center for EFT, and Co-Director of CFINE.

Moving Couples Forward: Using Concepts of Differentiation and Attachment to Harness Growth

When: Friday, April 20, 2018
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA
Instructors: Nancy Knudsen, LMFT and Katherine Waddell, LMFT

Differentiation of Self and Attachment Theory both offer a window into how to understand the very human struggle as clients’ attempt to balance out a desire to be close and connected to others, yet have an independent and strong self of self.

This workshop spent the morning exploring these key concepts and how they each explain couples’ best attempts at orienting and managing themselves in their relationships.

The afternoon presentation guided clinicians to start thinking developmentally about couples, using both differentiation and attachment theory, and taught six developmental assists that support differentiation and risk taking in building stronger, more vulnerable and more loving kinds of interactions. Participants learned through a combination of lecture and role plays with audience members. There was also discussion of the importance of the therapists’ own differentiation in utilizing these interventions. The work presented is based on the concepts and work of Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson, founders of the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy.

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Northampton, MA with over 30 years experience in the field. She has used a family systems orientation over the years to work with individuals, couples, and families on a wide range of issues.

Katherine Waddell, LMFT is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Couples Center of the Pioneer Valley located in Northampton, MA. Having worked with couples for over 20 years, Katherine teaches and trains therapists, offering workshops and supervision in the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy (Ellyn Bader/Peter Pearson) across the USA.

When Emotions Run High: Helping Couples Make Sense of Stuck Places With Emotionally Focused Therapy

When: Friday, March 9, 2018
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA 01060
Instructor: Nancy Knudsen, LMFT

This workshop taught the basic concepts of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), an evidence-based approach that has been shown to be highly effective in helping distressed couples repair and create a secure bond. Based on an integration of structural systems theory and the theory of

attachment and emotional bonding, EFT offers a roadmap to help couples stuck in a perpetual cycle of conflict to find their way back to loving connection. Weaving together the intra-psychic elements of emotional experience with the interactional component between two people, EFT offers clinicians a bridge between the individual and couple therapy paradigms.

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT has devoted her 30 year career to serving couples and families in distress, most recently using the model of Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is a Certified EFT Supervisor, a Past President of MAMFT, a Founding Member of the New England Center for EFT, and Co-Director of CFINE.

Getting Even: When Children Seek Revenge in Their Families

When: Friday, February 16, 2018
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA 01060
Instructor: Howard Wolfe, LMFT

This workshop was about how children can destroy family life through acts of revenge. They can ruin meal times, playtimes, vacations, morning and bedtime routines. These small and big moments are often acts of revenge. The child gets “hurt” by a parent and then seeks revenge. Unlike some family issues which can be easily corrected, the child who seeks revenge develops a narcissistic and self protective shell which can insulate him or her from all reason and correction. Parents often react by hurting back, creating and reinforcing a feud. This workshop presented an overview of a family systems approach to working with young children (age 3-11), explained the dynamics involved in revenge and discussed methods to prevent and heal it.

Howard C. Wolfe, MA, LMFT was trained as a Family Sociologist before completing two marriage and family therapy programs, one at Penn State (MA) in Human Development and one at The Minnesota State University (PhD program) in Home Economics. He has been practicing for many years in a variety of settings including street work with youth, mental health clinics (as a clinician, supervisor, and director), and in private practice.

Tales From the Licensing Board: Ethical Issues facing Couple and Family Therapists

When: Friday, December 8, 2017
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA
Instructors: I. Scott Cohen, LICSW, LMFT

If you work with more than one member of a family at a time, it is critical to be well informed about the relevant professional ethics, yet how many of us are? This workshop brought to life the AAMFT Code Of Ethics as well as some of the ethical guidelines issued by the Commonwealth of MA, in an engaging and thought-provoking way. Topics such as the Guidelines for Dealing with Children Whose Parents are Divorced, Separated or Not Living Together, and Policy on Distance, Online and Other Electronic-Assisted Counseling were examined. In addition, we discussed informed consent, record keeping and how to be compliant with HIPPA and state regulations. Examples and case material from the Board of Registration complaint cases were used, offering guidance to clinicians in avoiding common pitfalls.

I. Scott Cohen, LICSW, LMFT is both a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Since 1978, he has provided couples, family, individual and group therapy. He specializes in working with victims of violent crime and post-traumatic stress disorder, adolescents and their families, and substance abuse and addictions.

Navigating the Danger Zone: Working with Dysregulation and State-Dependent Couples Therapy

When:Friday, November 17, 2017
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA
Instructors: Kerry Lusignan, LMHC

This workshop focused on the challenges of working with the dysregulation of distressed couples and provided assessments and interventions to support them. It drew on a number of methods falling under the rubric of state-dependent couples therapy, including Gottman Method Couple Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT),Pragmatic Experiential Therapy (PEX-T) and the Psychobiological Approach (PACT). These models share an overlapping interest in the psychobiology of relationship and shifting partner’s states to support self and co-regulation. We explored the overlap in terms of the insights and treatment options that it affords.

Kerry Lusignan, LMHC holds a Master’s from the Department of Applied Psychology at Antioch New England Graduate School, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of mental health. In 2002, she opened her first private practice in Northampton, MA, and in 2009 began dedicating her practice exclusively to the treatment of couples in distress.

Addressing Addictions, Fostering Attachment with Emotionally Focused Therapy

When: Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2017
Where: Smith College Conference Center, 51 College Laine, Northampton, MA 01060
Instructor: Michael Barnett, LPC

This two-day workshop was an advanced master class in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) designed to inform how addictive processes (chemical dependency as well as other non-chemical or process addictions) impact attachment bonds and how clinicians can successfully work with these couples and families.

So often in clinical work, we run across addictive processes that impact clients’ ability to connect and establish secure attachment. We now have the tools to integrate an attachment-based focus in addressing addictions so that a new positive cycle can be created in couples and families to support sobriety, growth and healing.

Participants will:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of how addictions can be seen through the lens of attachment
  • Assess whether EFT can be beneficial in the face of active addiction
  • Learn to assess and address both active addictive process and well as past addictive process
  • Learn effective tools to address addiction and increase attachment security with EFT

Michael Barnett, LPC is a certified supervisor and trainer in Emotionally Focused Therapy, and the founder and director of the Atlanta Center for EFT. Michael brings extensive experience in the addictions field and a passion for helping couples and families impacted by addiction.

Narrative Therapy: A Postmodern Approach to the Therapeutic Process

When: Friday, October 20, 2017
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA
Instructors: MaryAnna Domokos-Cheng Ham, Ed.D., LMFT

This workshop took concepts from postmodern thinking and infused them into Narrative Therapy: a method for therapeutic intervention. With postmodern concepts as a foundation for Narrative therapy, this therapeutic method becomes a collaborative and non-pathologizing approach to family and couple therapy that respects and promotes people as the experts of their own lives. Narrative therapy interventions treat problems as separate from people. These interventions assume people to have many skills, abilities, values, commitments, beliefs and competencies that will assist them to change their relationship with the problems influencing their lives. Narrative therapy is a way of working that considers the broader context of people’s lives particularly in the various dimensions of diversity including class, race, gender, sexual orientation and ability.In the evolving development of relational therapies (family and couple therapy), postmodern assumptions about the purpose and goals for therapeutic interventions have become the center of how relational therapy is implemented. Hierarchy and power in relationships as well as the role of the therapist is now challenged by the goals of postmodern thought: to deconstruct “facts” by delineating the assumptions, value, and ideological frameworks supporting the “facts.” Those who work as postmodernists recognized that the self is not an isolated, autonomous being but rather is constructed in relationship. Narrative therapy implements these postmodern concepts.

MaryAnna Domokos-Cheng Ham, Ed.D., LMFT is a Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Boston. While at UMass Boston she founded and developed the Family Therapy Program, and was its director. Currently, Dr. Ham maintains a private practice in Northampton, MA. She is also a Master Therapist for Couples Therapy Inc, an online therapy practice that treats couples located internationally and throughout the United States.

The Leap to Systems Thinking: Learning from the Great Innovators

When: Friday, September 27, 2017
Where: 40 Center Street, Northampton, MA
Instructors: Jack LaForte, Ph.D., LMFT, Nancy Knudsen, LMFT, and Peter Titelman, Ph.D, LMFT

This workshop was designed to ground clinicians in the fundamentals of family systems theory and practice. Starting with the work of Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, the founder of General Systems Theory; progressing to two of the giants of the family therapy movement, Salvador Minuchin, the founder of Structural Family Therapy, and Murray Bowen, the originator of Bowen Systems Theory; and ending with Susan Johnson, the originator of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the three presenters elucidated the theme of “thinking systems.” A way of thinking about people in the context of their family relationships, the great paradigm shift that revolutionized the field of psychotherapy can be applied to working with individuals, couples, families, or even larger social groups. Lecture, video clips of these great originators at work, discussion, and a live case consultation with a workshop participant on the application of Bowen theory with a therapist’s own family made this day a full experience.

Jack LaForte, Ph.D., LMFT has worked with literally thousands of clients during his career as a psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, life coach and consultant. With over 35 years experience, he has developed an integrated client-focused approach which combines family systems, positive psychology, communications theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, and emotionally focused therapy.

Nancy Knudsen, LMFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Northampton, MA with over 30 years experience in the field. She has used a family systems orientation over the years to work with individuals, couples, and families on a wide range of issues.

Peter Titelman, PhD maintains a private practice in clinical psychology, specializing in Bowen family systems therapy, consultation, professional education, and supervision in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dr. Titelman has been leading consultation groups on the professional’s own family for close to thirty-five years. He is a founding member of the New England Seminar on Bowen Theory in Worcester, Massachusetts.