The Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council
Counselling and Training Centre

Training Program in Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples


Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is based on the findings that have now garnered ample empirical evidence that emotions influence thought and behavior and contrary to the view that the best way to change your emotions is by changing thoughts. EFT proposes that the best way to achieve enduring change in cognition, behavior and interaction is by changing emotion with emotion. EFT has developed methods based on over 30 years of research on how people change in therapy to help people become aware of, express and regulate emotion in order to better tolerate and utilize its offerings, reflect on emotion to make sense of it, and transform it by both accessing alternate opposing emotion and having corrective emotional experiences. EFT is now recognized as evidence based treatments for depression, for couple conflict and there is also growing evidence of its effectiveness for trauma, interpersonal problems and eating disorders.

Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT-C) integrates the work of intrapsychic focus on the partner’s inner emotional experiencing with the interpersonal, systemic perspectives in couple’s interactional pattern and processes. It illustrates empirically validated interventions to work in couple therapy to help the couple, and each individual, regulate the emotions of anger, sadness, fear, and shame, as well as love and other positive emotions. It involves promoting other-regulation of affect and self-regulation of affect. This adds work on the transformation of the pain of unmet childhood needs that often organizes responses in the present to the encouragement of the expression of adult unmet needs for closeness and validation.

The practice of EFT-C therapists is grounded in the person-centered relational attitudes, emotion-focused methods and systemic approach. Training in Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy enables therapists to be empathically attuned to both partners’ inner emotional experience. The EFT-C therapists identify the link between core emotion schemes of the partners and related interpersonal and intrapersonal issues in the couple relationship. Coaching couples through the process of identifying the negative interactional cycles that gave rise to the hurtful events, EFT-C therapists help both partners identify the idiosyncratic impact of the injury in the marital bond as they work toward the possibility of relationship repair. The therapists facilitate the process of transforming and replacing those negative cycles with mutually enhancing positive interactional cycles that promote marital harmony and rebuild trust and safety in the relationship.


This training program provides trainees with a solid grounding in the theory and skills in working with couples within the framework of Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy.

Educational Objectives
-Develop formulations, treatment goals, and create plans based on the EFT- C model.
-Understand the phenomenon of marital distress in the context of emotion and its role in intimacy and attachment.
-Identify specific interventions to help couples externalize their problem as a negative interactional cycle.
-Learn to identify different types of emotions, emotion schemes and forms of emotional expression.
-Learn to differentiate between attachment and identity oriented emotions.
-Learn how to intervene differentially with emotion.
-Learn how to access adaptive emotions to produce change.
-Learn to facilitate the transformation of negative interactional cycles and related problematic affect states and access more intimate states.
-Change both intra-psychic and interpersonal dynamics.
-Deal with blocks and impasses in responsiveness.
-Learn to help individuals, within the couples’ context, access, regulate, and soothe emotion in order to foster a more secure emotional bond between partners.


The Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council
Counselling and Training Centre

The Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council ( is a non-governmental organization established in 1965. The aim of HKCMAC is to provide professional services for the promotion of happy marriages and responsible parenthood. HKCMAC has been providing service for individuals, couples and families for 50 years. Over the past few decades, HKCMAC has been actively involved in the provision of counseling services and professional training in the field of social work and family mediation. HKCMAC has organized workshops and training programs in Emotion-Focused Therapy since 2004. Over a decade HKCMAC has collaborated with a group of internationally renowned EFT scholars and trainers to provide EFT training for EFT practitioners and clinicians in Hong Kong.

Officially established in 2012 the HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre has been a service unit of HKCMAC for a variety of services for clients in the community. Especially the HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre has been playing a key role in the provision of EFT training for the practitioners to equip themselves with a solid grounding in theory and skills competence within the framework of EFT. The practitioners are enhanced to keep abreast of the latest development in EFT research, theory, and applications, so as to advance their efficacy and effectiveness in clinical practice. The HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre is currently an Institute Member of the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT).

In cooperation with

Emotion-Focused Therapy Institute, Chicago
Emotion-Focused Therapy Institute is a free-standing institute in Chicago, Illinois offering training in both the EFT Individual and Couples approach within a broad range of formats


Dr. Rhonda N. Goldman
Dr. Rhonda N. Goldman is a professor of Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Schaumburg Campus. She is also an affiliate therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston. She has over 20 years of clinical experience working with both couples and individuals. She is also the president of the Emotion-Focused Therapy Institute in Chicago.

Dr. Goldman is one of the main developers of EFT, having co-authored four of the main texts on Emotion-Focused Therapy including Leaning Emotion-Focused Therapy (2004), Case Studies in Emotion-Focused Treatment of Depression (2007), and Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy: The Dynamics of Emotion, Love, and Power (2008) and Case formulation in Emotion-Focused Therapy: Co-creating Clinical Maps for Change (2015), all of which are published by APA Books. She practices, teaches, and conducts research on emotional processes and outcomes in emotion-focused therapy and has written journal articles and book chapters on empathy, vulnerability, depression, and emotion. She is the recipient (2011) of the Carmi Harrari Early Career Award from Division 32, the Society of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. Most recently, she is Past-President of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI).


Mr. Jay Tse
Mr. Jay Tse is a marriage and family therapist at the Counselling and Training Centre of The Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council. He earned a Master of Family Therapy degree and completed two-year training in Gestalt Therapy at Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States. He is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Also, he is a Registered Social Worker, Certified Sex Therapist, and an Accredited Family Mediator and Family Mediation Supervisor in Hong Kong.

Mr. Jay Tse has been trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy with Professor Leslie Greenberg since 2004, as well as receiving training from Dr. Serine Warwar, Dr. Wanda Malcolm, Dr. Alberta Pos, and Dr. Rhonda Goldman over the years. He is a Certified EFT Trainer (Individual Therapy) and a Certified EFT Therapist (Individual Therapy) recognized by the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT). Also, he is an EFT Training Facilitator (Couple Therapy) and an Emotion-Focused Couple Therapist certified by the EFT Clinic, York University, Toronto, Canada and HKCMAC. He has been a facilitator involving in skills coaching in the module workshops and monthly supervision groups in the yearly Training Programs in EFT since 2007. In addition, he has conducted EFT workshops for social service agencies in recent years.

Mrs. Catherine Poon
Mrs. Catherine Poon is a Registered Social Worker. She earned a Master of Social Work in the University of Hong Kong and has worked with the Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (HKCMAC) for over 20 years as a marriage counselor. She is an Associate Fellow and an Approved Counselling Supervisorof the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association. She maintains a person-centered approach in her clinical practice and supervision.

Mrs. Catherine Poon is a Certified EFT Trainer (Individual Therapy) recognized by the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT) and an EFT Training Facilitator (Couple Therapy) certified by the EFT Clinic, York University, Toronto, Canada and HKCMAC. She has been trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy with Professor Leslie Greenberg since 2004. She has given presentations, provided skills coaching in the Module Workshops and conducted monthly supervision groups in the yearly Training Programs in EFT since 2007.Over the years, she has led hundreds of supervision group sessions.

Mrs. Catherine Poon established the Lotus on the Ripple Counseling Room and is currently in private practice. She continues to do individual and couple therapy, training workshops on EFT, EFT-C, Focusing and Mindfulness, and clinical supervision for local practitioners. She is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong since 2015, teaching Emotion-Focused Interventions and Marital Counseling for Master degree students of counseling and social work.

Dr Nia Pryde
Dr Nia Pryde obtained her Bachelor of Arts Hons in Psychology (Durham), Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (Newcastle), Doctor of Clinical Psychology (Wales, Bangor), Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Leeds), and Diploma in Sex Addiction Counselling (CPCAB) in Britain. She is a Clinical, Counselling & Health Psychologist (BPS chartered, HCPC registered, HKPS registered), a Member of the BPS Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors, and a Senior Member of the BPS Register of Psychologists Specialising in Psychotherapy. She is a Sexual & Relationship Psychotherapist and Supervisor (UKCP registered, COSRT accredited), and a Family Mediator (HKIAC, HKMAAL accredited). She is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Psychological Society and Honorary President of the Psychotherapy Society of Hong Kong. She has held a senior clinical post in the British National Health Service, a full-time faculty position at the University of Hong Kong, and is currently in private practice in Hong Kong, working with individuals and couples across a range of presentations and providing supervision to mental health professionals.

Dr Pryde completed Levels I, II, and III of the Emotion Focused Therapy Institute, as well as the Emotion Focused Couples Institute, in Toronto under Professor Les Greenberg, who is also her supervisor. She completed the Externship for Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy under Dr Sue Johnson and Core Skills Training under Dr Ting Liu. She is an EFT Training Facilitator (Individual Therapy & Couple Therapy) certified by the EFT Clinic, York University, Toronto and HKCMAC. Dr Pryde has been an EFT facilitator involved in an English-speaking supervision group and skills coaching in the workshops of the HKCMAC Training Programs in EFT for Individuals and EFT for Couples since 2012. She is a Certified EFT Supervisor recognized by the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT).

Course Curriculum

Training Components

-Three modules of training workshops (totally 11 days) on theoretical framework and skills training
-Practicum (12 three-hour peer practicum group sessions)
-Group supervision (12 three-hour group supervision sessions)
-A minimum of 12 hours of clinical practice in couple therapy
-Two written assignments: (transcripts of 20-minute segment of videotaped couple therapy sessions)
-Reviewing 2 videotaped couple therapy sessions in supervision group

The trainees will receive in-depth skills training through three intensive modules workshops in which a combination of didactic lectures, video illustrations, live modeling and coaching, supervised role-playing practice, and case discussions will be used. Besides, monthly group supervision and peer practicum are adopted as medium to promote trainees’ integration of theory and practice of EFT-C throughout the training program. Each supervision group will be guided by a local EFT-C Training Facilitator in Hong Kong.

Medium of Instruction

- English for Module I & Module III workshops
- Cantonese for Module II workshop
- Cantonese for practicum and group supervision
- One English speaking Supervision Group and alternative dates of Module II Workshop in English would be conducted if there are 6 English speaking applicants successfully enrolled.

Venues Arrangement

For Workshops: To be confirmed

For Group Supervision: HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre, Room 101, 1/F., Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

For Practicum and Clinical Practice: As arranged by trainees

Workshop Content

Module I : Working with Emotions in Couples Therapy & EFT-C Skills Training I
27-29 April 2017
Dr. Rhonda Goldman

Emotion Theory
The Role of Emotion in Couple Relationship and Marital Distress
Theoretical Framework of Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT-C)
Five stages Intervention Framework of Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy

Module II : EFT-C Skills Training II (Part 1)*
4-5 September 2017
Mr. Jay Tse
(*This Module II Workshop will be presented in Cantonese.)

Stage 1 of EFT-C Intervention: Validation and Alliance Formation
Creation of safety and the development of a collaborative alliance.
1. Empathize with and validate each partner’s position and underlying pain.
2. Delineate conflict issues. Assess how these issues reflect core problems in the areas of connectedness and identity.

Stage 2 of EFT-C Intervention: Negative Cycle De-escalation
Reduce the emotional reactivity between the partners.
3. Identify the attachment- and/or identity-related interaction cycles and each partner’s position in that cycle, and externalize the problem as the cycle.
4. Identify the unacknowledged attachment- and/or identity-related emotions underlying the interactional positions.
5. Identify each partner’s sensitivities and vulnerabilities and their historical origins to help broaden the understanding of the negative interactional cycles.
6. Reframe the problem in terms of underlying more vulnerable feelings related to unmet attachment and identity needs.

Stage 3 of EFT-C Intervention: Accessing Underlying Feelings
7. Access unacknowledged feelings and needs underlying interaction positions and reveal them to the partner.
8. Identify and overcome intrapsychic blocks to accessing and revealing emotions.
9. Promote identification with disowned needs or aspects of self, integrating these into relationship interactions.

Module II : EFT-C Skills Training II (Part 2)*
7-8 December 2017
Mr. Jay Tse
(*This Module II Workshop will be presented in Cantonese.)

Stage 3 of EFT-C Intervention: Accessing Underlying Feelings (in more depth)

Stage 4 of EFT-C Intervention: Restructuring the Negative Interaction
Emphasizes the enactment of new ways of being with each other.
10. Promote acceptance of the other partner’s experience and aspects of self.
11. Facilitate the expressions of feelings, needs, and wants, to create genuine emotional engagement, and restructure the couple interaction.
12. Promote self-soothing and transformation of maladaptive emotion schemes in each partner, to facilitate self-change and more enduring couples change.

Stage 5 of EFT-C Intervention: Consolidation and Integration
13. Facilitate the emergence of new interactions and solutions to problematic interactions and/or issues.
14. Consolidate new positions and new narratives.

Module II : EFT-C Skills Training II (Part 1)**
19-20 September 2017 (tentatively)
Mr. Jay Tse & Dr. Nia Pryde

Module II : EFT-C Skills Training II (Part 2)**
14-15 December 2017 (tentatively)
Mr. Jay Tse & Dr. Nia Pryde
(**This Module II Workshop will be presented in English.)

It requires 6 English speaking applicants successfully enrolled to form one English speaking supervision group in the EFT-C training program 2017-2018.
There is a schedule of alternative dates of Module II Workshop (Part 1 and part 2) for the English speaking group of trainees.

Module III: EFT-C Advanced Skills Training and Consolidation of Theory and Practice
late April or Early May 2018 (totally 4 days) – exact dates to be confirmed
Dr. Rhonda Goldman

Advanced Skills Training on Stages 1-5 of EFT-C Intervention
Working with Specific Emotions: Anger, Sadness, Fear and Shame
Working with Specific Issues in Couple Relationships
-Betrayal & emotional injury
-Forgiveness & letting go
Self soothing
Cultural considerations

The practicum is an interactive group process with emphasis on peer role-playing practice and case reviews for integrating case conceptualization into practice within an EFT-C framework. Each group of trainees will hold a three-hour practicum session on a monthly basis over the 12-month program year.

Group supervision
The group supervision aims at providing trainees with in-depth skills training to work with couples in accordance with the EFT-C approach. Each supervision group will hold a 3-hour monthly session over the 12-month program year. Each supervision group will be guided by a local EFT-C Training Facilitator in Hong Kong, and the formats of the group supervision include skills training, reviews of audio-/ video-taped couple therapy case sessions, and case consultation.

Clinical Practice
The trainees are required to apply the EFT-C approach to working with couples with at least 12 hours of practice during the training program. They are encouraged to audio-/video-tape their case sessions with clients' consent, for the purpose of self-evaluation and having consultation in group supervision.

Completion of the Training Program
The trainees are required to complete two written assignments of transcripts of 20-minute video clip of clinical practice with the application of EFT for Couples, as well as reviewing two videotaped couple therapy case sessions in supervision group during the program year. The trainees also need to fulfill at least 80% of the attendance in 1) the Module I, II & III training workshops totally 11 days, 2) the monthly 3-hour practicum group, and 3) the monthly 3-hour group supervision respectively. By completing the assignments and attendance requirements captioned above, the trainees will be granted a certificate in completion of the "Training Program in Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples".

Recognition and Certification
The HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre is currently an Institute Member of the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT). The competency advancement path in the EFT Training at the HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre includes a series of workshops and supervision, and EFT Therapist Certification.

The EFT trainees completing the Training Program in Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT-C) 2017-2018 will be qualified as attaining "Level A: Completion of Basic EFT-C Training" recognized by The HKCMAC Counselling and Training Centre and Emotion-Focused Therapy Institute, Chicago.

The trainees with completion of the “Level A: Basic EFT-C Training” can advance their EFT-C training by pursuing “Level B: EFT Supervised Practice”. The trainees at Level B are required to have at least 16 hours of EFT-C supervision with at least 2 couple therapy cases offered by ISEFT Certified EFT Trainer/ Supervisor. They are required to review their audio-/videotaped EFT-C case sessions in the supervision and are recommended to have a total of at least 60 sessions of EFT-C in their clinical practice. The “Level C: Certified EFT-C Therapist” is a certification process that requires EFT trainees to demonstrate substantial EFT skills competence at the level of EFT-C Therapist with continuous evaluation of their skills competence over the period of EFT-C supervision.

Who should attend
Social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, and other mental health professionals.

Prerequisites for Application
-A recognized degree in social work, psychology, counselling or other mental health related disciplines
-At least two years of clinical experience in working with couples
-Actively involving in current clinical practice
-Preferably with prior knowledge of Emotion-Focused Therapy

Minimum: 18
Maximum: 36

Course Fee*:
Early Bird (Application submitted on or before 21 March 2017)
Remarks: No installment will be arranged.

Please send the completed application form to HKCMAC, and no cheque payment is required to be attached at the submission of application form before enrollment interview.

The enrollment interview will begin in February 2017 onwards. Successful candidates will receive a notification of admission and payment of program fee. Final confirmation on the admission will be made after payment is received.

By post:
The Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council
Counselling and Training Centre
Room 101, 1/F., Low Block, Grand Millennium Plaza
181 Queen’s Road Central,
Hong Kong

(Re: EFT-C 2017-2018 Application)

By email: (Re: EFT-C 2017-2018 Application)

(An email notification will be sent to applicant within a week upon the receipt of application.)

Deadline for Application
31 March 2017

If you have any enquiry, please feel free to contact Mr. Jay Tse at 2810 1104 or through e-mail at

Click here to download the application form of the Training Program in EFT-C (2017-2018)

Peer Reviews of the work of Dr. Leslie Greenberg and Dr. Rhonda Goldman

“Emotional experiences are inevitable in the processes of human change…Greenberg conveys precious practical wisdom about these processes and their constructive healthy functions.”

— Michael J. Mahoney, PhD

“Leslie S. Greenberg brings alive and vividly illustrates all his ideas about the role of emotion in life, in psychopathology, and in therapy, and he does this superbly.”

— Arthur C. Bohart, PhD

"There is no doubt that Greenberg is both a pioneer and the field's premier investigator in the important work of applying the basic research on emotions to the process of psychotherapy... a fabulous compendium of strategies for working with emotions.”

— Marsha M. Linehan, PhD

“It has been said that psychotherapy is (or should be) the practice of psychology—the application of psychological science. Greenberg and Goldman hold to this principle in outlining an approach to emotion-focused couples therapy broadly informed by the latest research on emotion, motivation, self- and other-affect regulation, even affective neuroscience….a work of theoretical and practical value to both practicing clinicians and active scientists.”

— James Coan, PhD

“Greenberg and Goldman have made a major contribution to the continuing evolution of emotion-focused couples therapy by providing a conceptually rich new methodology for helping couples improve their capacity for affect regulation.”

— Alan S. Gurman, PhD

“Greenberg and Goldman describe innovative theoretical formulations and clinical strategies for therapy with couples that practitioners and researchers will find enlightening and very useful.”

— Keith J. Edwards, PhD

“Goldman and Greenberg systematically outline how to deconstruct client’s narratives and observe their emotional processing styles to provide a blueprint for understanding how problems develop, what maintains them, and what intervention strategies are likely to help. With detailed step-by-step explanations and in-depth case examples, they bring their approach alive in a coherent and user-friendly manner.”

—Hanna Levenson, PhD

“By synthesizing the general principles of emotion-focused therapy with an ingenious new approach to case conceptualization, Goldman and Greenberg provide clinicians with an invaluable framework for tracking the process of change and organizing their thinking about how and when to intervene with specific clients at different points in the treatment session and different stages of treatment. The result is a clinically sophisticated and highly practical guide that will be welcomed by both advanced practitioners and newcomers to the emotion-focused approach.”

—Jeremy D. Safran, PhD

“By delineating clear and logical phases of case formulation and by illustrating them with captivating clinical materials, Goldman and Greenberg launch the humanistic-experiential tradition into new territories and make a significant contribution to the entire profession-wide shift to evidence-based practice”

— Louis G. Castonguay, PhD