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Plenary Session

Creating Connection and Restoring Resilience: Transforming family bonds through Emotionally Focused Family Therapy

Lead by Dr. James Furrow

Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFT) is an attachment-based approach that combines both
systemic and experiential interventions to mend broken bonds and heal fractured families. EFT offers a practical approach to engaging emotional experience within a family and targets the distress that blocks family members from accessing the necessary resources for growth and connection. Through the power of transforming emotional experience, a family is able to heal and gain resilience to face the everyday and unexpected challenges of life. This presentation offers an overview of key EFT elements and practices used to increase emotion regulation and corrective experiences in family relationships. Participants will learn to: 

  • Conceptualize family distress using theories of emotion & attachment

  • Identify the stages and markers of change in the EFT approach

  • Explore interventions used to break through blocks in parent-child connections

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Dr. James Furrow

James Furrow, Ph.D., is leader and contributor to the practice of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with couples and families. Together with EFT originator, Dr. Susan Johnson, Dr. Furrow co-authored Emotionally Focused Family Therapy; Becoming an EFT Therapist: The Workbook and The EFT Casebook. He also co- authored Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Dummies, a practical resource for couples and therapists seeking an everyday understanding of EFT principles and practices.


Formerly Dr. Furrow served as the Evelyn and Frank Freed Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, where he trained psychologists, and conducted research on adolescent risk and resilience. He is a clinical fellow and an approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a member of the National Council on Family Relations, and a Certified Family Life Educator. He co-founded the Los Angeles Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and is a board member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT).

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