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What is Emotionally-focused therapy for couples?

Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples was developed 30 years ago by Sue Johnson, Ed.D and Leslie Greenberg, PhD. This short term experiential and systemic couples therapy is now one of the most researched delineated and empirically-validated approaches in the field of couples therapy. It has demonstrated powerful clinically significant effects with various populations.

EFT focuses on the actual wired-in mammalian responses we have with our partners, universal emotional and physical reactions we all experience regardless of race, cultures, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other cultural identities. 

EFT presents a comprehensive theory of adult love and attachment and a process for healing distressed relationships. It recognizes that relationship distress results from a perceived threat to basic adult needs for safety, security and closeness in intimate relationships. 

This experiential/systemic therapy focuses on helping each partner reprocess the emotional experience underlying the rigid negative interactional patterns that keep them stuck. Through a series of well-defined stages the therapist takes the couple from conflict deadlock to creating new bonding interactions. 

 Our mission

We are committed to fostering the development of a community of EFT-trained couple and family therapists in Israel to:
•    Fill the community's need for competent EFT therapists.
•    Promote the learning and practice of EFT.
•    Encourage certification in EFT.
•    Cater to Israeli Clients and Therapists from diverse backgrounds.


if you are looking for a couple's therapist


Please use our database page to find a therapist that fits your search criteria. All the therapists listed here have completed the Basic Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, and many of them have completed Additional Training and Certification levels of training.  EFT Supervisors are listed as well. None of the therapists listed here are employed by EFT Israel.

If you want help connecting with a culturally-sensitive Hebrew or English speaking therapist, please contact us at: We may also be able to connect you with an English-speaking EFT therapist who offers couples therapy via Skype.



PROFESSIONAL DISCLAIMER: Before you contact any of our member clinicians, please read this important notice.


In a meta-analysis an effect size of 1.3 was found. This implies that approximately 90% of treated couples rated themselves better than controls. In this meta-analysis (Johnson et al 1999), 70-73% of couples recovered from distress at follow-up (trend: improvement continues after therapy).
In a two year follow-up on very stressed couples in relationship distress, depression and parental distress results were stable.
EFT appears to positively impact depression, intimacy, and trust. In a comparative study (Johnson & Greenberg, 1985), EFT performed significantly better than controls and a behavioral skill training intervention. EFT couples improved problem solving skills even though this was not the focus of therapy.
In a recent study, EFT successfully helped couples resolve attachment injuries and create forgiveness.
EFT studies have been rigorous with implementation checks used. There have been very few drop-outs.


Recent research involves outcome studies of couples facing trauma and stressful events (the Dalton and MacIntosh studies, and a study on EFT effects on attachment security with an FMRI component.) The FMRI study shows that EFT changes the way contact with a partner mediates the effect of threat on the brain. A short video, soothing the Threatened Brain, summarizing this study can be viewed on

Get Trained In EFT

Here is some information about training opportunities. We encourage you to also check out the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Therapy:


The 4 day Externship is the first level of training for learning EFT and for becoming a Certified EFT Therapist. The course teaches mental health professionals the basic clinical skills necessary to become competent as an EFT couples therapist. It includes readings, lecturers, discussions, videotape examples, and experiential skills practice. Two live couples' sessions are scheduled for each Externship so participants have the opportunity to see the work in real time. 
Through a combination of lecture, videotape, observation of live interviews and exercises, participants will learn the basic concepts and theory of Emotionally Focused Therapy; identify the stages and steps of treatment; begin to formulate problematic cycles of interaction; and help couples end cycles of blame and disengagement so that they can restore and deepen the emotional bond between them.

Sue Johnson's second edition of The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Creating Connections is recommended reading for all participants. Experienced EFT supervisors will be available to assist small group learning and practice. 



EFT Core Skills training sessions are facilitated by Certified EFT Trainers. Core Skills consists of small groups learning the skills essential to the practice of EFT. The training is broken up over 2 different weeks totaling 8 days.  Participants must have completed an EFT Externship and be willing to present their own work through audio/videotape presentation. 

For information about upcoming Externship and Core Skills training, please visit our Events page.



Individual and group supervision in EFT is offered by Certified EFT Supervisors and approved supervisor candidates. You can look up supervisors in our database webpage.

Please note, that to use this site, it is necessary to first read our “Term of Usage” (in Hebrew).


A Message to our clients:

Making Aliya and Emotionally Focused Therapy


Couples seek therapy for a variety of reasons. EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) therapists deal with a wide range of issues such as communication, finances, raising children, intimacy, and infidelity. EFT does a wonderful job in helping couples mired in conflict learn how to interact positively, allowing them to forge new bonds and create a happier relationship.  

EFT Israel recognizes that living in a new country can bring along its own set of challenges and is here to help. Moving to a new country is often fraught with difficult adjustments and unpredictable hardships that can cause anxiety, stress, and even depression. This, in turn, may negatively impact one’s marriage or relationship. What was once a beautiful courtship can suddenly and without warning devolve into a relationship filled with criticism, blame and feelings of resentment.

This can lead to each partner wondering what they ever saw in the other and begin to doubt that they married the right person or if they are even “cut-out” for a long-term committed relationship at all. Confused and overwhelmed they get down on themselves, reinforcing those feelings of anxiety and depression. Feelings of failure take hold and self-criticism becomes the norm.  

A new language, a foreign culture, the financial struggle in a new economy all take their toll on a couple’s bond. The reverberations of fear and distress are felt by the entire family. The couple thus begins to place their own frustrations and disappointments upon the other. Their once loving marriage and beautiful home has quickly turned into a cold war. The environment is toxic and they want to escape. Their longing and love for each other has been replaced with anger, guilt, and shame. 

Lacking family and friends to turn to for support they find themselves sad and lonely in a new and unfamiliar land. At the moments when they need each other the most, their partner, the only person in the world who holds the key to their heart, quickly disappears and is nowhere in sight. In their most desperate moments of need and attention they don’t know how to turn towards each other for acceptance, comfort, and affection.  Instead they bicker and fight alienating their partner even more. They are all alone and their feelings of shame and inadequacy fill up their home. Each day they continue to drift farther and farther apart. 

In EFT, couples learn how to become closer to each other during times of distress.  The couple is united in their journey together. They learn about their negative cycle while discovering that it is within their ability to overcome these challenges and that ultimately their love for each other can prevail.  Their past patterns become the enemy for them to fight together. At last there is hope. A light at the end of the tunnel.


As the couple works together the longing that they have for one another is discovered and uncovered. The love that was hidden is now cherished and shared. The pain that was once masked with anger and frustration is now something they can share and combat together. Finally, they can now turn towards each other instead of being stuck in despair.


EFT Israel recognizes the struggle of acclimating to a new country and culture. Our goal is to help couples, families and communities foster a secure connection and be able to reach out to one another. We hope we can help you feel more at home in your new home, EFT Israel.

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