Psychotherapy with couples is both multi-layered and complex, often challenging the most skilled of therapists. In this fast-paced, technology-driven era that we live in, where true connection is often at a premium, substance use has escalated to epidemic proportions. It is not uncommon for couple’s therapists to be confronted with the additional challenge of contending with a pernicious “third-party” that lurks within distressed relationships: Addiction. Although we have the superb modality, EFT, to help couples find their way to genuine, loving communion with one another, addictions present very significant obstacles to effectively working with couples that seek our services. In this two-day experiential training, we will create a safe environment together to explore specific ways to tailor EFT skills and interventions to better address the impact that addiction has on the couple therapy process.
This interactive workshop will use role-plays, video clip demonstrations, and didactic material for discussion and exploration.
EFT Therapists will learn:
* An overview of addictive processes; physical, relational, and emotional
* How to understand addiction through the attachment lens
* How addiction impacts the system: Ways to place addictive behaviors into the negative cycle
* The impact of addiction on emotional fluency and process
* Leveraging attachment processes to break through addictive denial
* The high prevalence of attachment injuries and other relational trauma where addiction is present
Michael Barnett, MA, Ed.S, LPC is a licensed psychotherapist in Atlanta Georgia with over 30 years of clinical experience. Michael is an ICEEFT(International Center of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy) certified supervisor and trainer in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT), and is the founder and director of the Atlanta Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy. He is also a partner at Pine River Psychotherapy Associates, a highly respected and visionary private practice in Atlanta since its inception in the 1970s. Prior to starting his private practice, Michael worked in inpatient addiction treatment centers, experiential outdoor training facilities focusing on the healing of addictive processes, and in intensive outpatient addiction programs for more than six years before beginning his private practice as an experiential psychotherapist in 1993. He began presenting workshops and trainings on experiential psychotherapies the same year. Michael received 27 years of mentorship from one of the leading psychologists in the Atlanta psychotherapy community, Dr. Kirk Lalor. By the time that he began his training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples in 2005, he had led dozens of trainings for psychotherapy professionals, and business leaders alike. By 2008 Michael became an ICEEFT certified trainer in the model and was leading EFT certification trainings, workshops and speaking engagements on EFT across North America, and Canada. Michael has ardently worked toward integrating working with addictive disorders through both traditional and experiential processes. This humanistic, attachment-based work culminated in a systematic creation for tailoring the EFT model to more effectively treat couples who present on the addictive continuum. In doing so Michael has offered a unique addition to this wonderful body of EFT education. In February 2017, he and several colleagues completed a 3-year research project implementing EFT into the treatment regime at a metropolitan inpatient addiction hospital in Atlanta. The data is currently being analyzed and will hopefully be completed within the next eighteen months. In September 2017, Michael was selected to co-present at the EFT Summit with Dr. Gabor Mate, where they had the opportunity to share their personal and clinical insights about working with addictions from a humanistic perspective to a broad audience of psychotherapists from around the world. Michael and Dr. Silvina Irwin were also invited to co-present at the LACEFT and ACEFT masterclass series on working with trauma through the EFT model. They have added a special emphasis to the secondary traumatization that can impact therapists working so closely with traumatized clients.