In July 2016 EFT therapists from 17 countries gathered in sunny London to participate in the first multi-trainer EFT International School. We were lucky to have Gail Palmer, Scott Woolley, Rebecca Jorgensen and Zoya Simakhodskaya as inspiring and nurturing trainers for this event.
The idea behind the EFT International School was to provide intensive learning experiences to therapists with varying levels of EFT exposure. The summer school was open to all therapists, including those who had not yet embarked on formal EFT training but who had attended shorter EFT workshops and had read EFT articles and books. This group made up about a third of the participants. Another third were therapists who had completed the Externship or Core Skills and the remaining third were therapists who were working towards certification or were certified as EFT therapists or supervisors, or were trainers-in-training. This breadth of EFT experience and international representation created an energetic, stimulating and cheerful group of participants who enjoyed the learning as well as the collegial exchanges. The networking evening was well attended. We received a lot of positive feedback about the great atmosphere at the summer school and the good connections within the group and with the trainers.
DAY 1 Gail Palmer presented: “Remarried Couples and Blended Families.” The often underestimated challenges, loyalty conflicts and attachment fears these families face were illustrated by powerful case examples. In the afternoon, Gail held a live session where she helped a couple take ‘new dance steps’ and deepen their experiential understanding of their own and their partner’s attachments needs and fears.
DAY 2 saw Scott Woolley presenting “Healing Attachment Injuries and Facilitating Forgiveness.” Scott gave some fascinating case examples before showing three very moving clips from live sessions demonstrating different aspects of working with attachment injuries. The afternoon was dedicated to experiential learning in smaller groups where participants deepened their EFT understanding through case presentations, role plays and EFT exercises.
DAY 3 “Transforming Shame” was presented by Rebecca Jorgensen. Participants learned to recognize shame in clients, how this can trigger some of the therapist’s own shameful feelings, and how to work with these feelings within ourselves as therapists and then with our clients. Rebecca showed some impressive video clips on how she worked with and transformed shame through EFT. In the afternoon there was more experiential work in smaller groups to further deepen participants’ learning.
DAY 4 was led by Zoya Simakhodskaya who presented “Sex as a Safe Adventure.” Zoya explored the need to be or become comfortable talking about sex in order to help couples understand their sexual cycle as well as their emotional cycle. Some very powerful therapy clips showed how Zoya worked with these couples. In the afternoon, the participants were treated to an ‘In-Session’ experience where Rebecca Jorgensen, interviewed by Zoya, movingly and courageously shared two excerpts from her ‘Complete Treatment’ tapes illustrating therapeutic repair and blamer softening.
Participant feedback highlighted appreciation for the great quality of presentations, the very interesting and varied topics and the first-hand opportunity to experience ‘experts at work’. People left invigorated and inspired for their own EFT work. Advanced EFT therapists and beginners alike felt they gained a lot from this first EFT International School and wanted to see more.
This event would not have been possible without Gulya Diyarova who had the initial idea, set up the whole project and asked me to join the organising team. Our wonderful team of volunteers, Ben Mankowitz, Sandra Taylor, Helene Igwebuike and day helpers, were always at hand. A special gratitude to our four speakers who all had the courage and faith to embark with us on this journey.