*Note: these techniques can be used in different clinical contexts, including in individual and group parenting sessions; having the full family present is not necessary*
Parents and caregivers often feel helpless when their child (no matter the age) is experiencing a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder. They are also often left out of treatment: sometimes because the child or adolescent requests this; sometimes because the parent requests individual treatment for the child or adolescent; and sometimes due to agency protocol. Yet family members, if provided with the opportunity and the right tools, can often have the biggest impact on their loved one’s healing. This is where Emotion-Focused Family Therapy comes in.
Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) is a model developed to equip parents and caregivers with targeted and skills and support to leverage their healing power in their child’s recovery - regardless of the child’s age, level of motivation or involvement in formal treatment themselves. EFFT also helps to decrease the frequency of problematic caregiving dynamics. The clinician’s role is to help caregivers to master the skills, tasks and feelings involved in four main domains:
- Providing behavioural support as necessary, by supporting them through the interruption of symptoms and maladaptive behaviours;
- Providing emotional support as necessary, by supporting them to approach, process and manage stress and emotional pain fuelling symptoms or interfering with treatment uptake;
- Facilitating relationship repair and healing possible wounds from the child and family’s past in order to help loved ones to let go of the weight of old injuries, and
- Working through and resolving the fears and obstacles that surface in the caregiver during this challenging and novel journey.
This final component is critical since, throughout the course of treatment, some well-intentioned caregivers can struggle to support their loved one’s treatment. They may even engage in behaviours that enable their loved one’s symptoms, creating challenges for even the most experienced clinicians. For this reason, the EFFT model includes a module for clinician and team challenges as well.
This two-day interactive workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental principles and techniques of EFFT, with a focus on emotion coaching, caregiver blocks and clinician blocks. Through discussions, case examples, demonstrations, and small and large group exercises, participants will also have an opportunity for hands-on practice and skill-building.
Background/experience in family therapy is not necessary.
You will receive:
- Login details and instructions emailed in advance of the workshop
- Downloadable handouts
- Certificate of attendance upon successful completion of a brief online quiz (if desired)
- Access to a recording of the workshop for a limited period of time after the workshop - so if you can’t join live, or need to miss part of the live workshop and want to view it afterwards, we’ve got you covered!
About the Presenter
Dr. Adele Lafrance is a clinical psychologist, research scientist, author and co-developer of emotion-focused treatment modalities, including Emotion-Focused Family Therapy. She has published extensively in the field of emotion and health, including the EFFT Clinician’s Manual published by the American Psychological Association. She has also written a popular parenting book titled: What to Say to Kids When Nothing Seems to Work.
A frequent keynote speaker at professional conferences, Adele is known for her engaging, energetic and authentic presentation style. She provides consultation and training for clinicians, school boards and mental health agencies worldwide.
Adele is perhaps best known for promoting family-focused care for children, adolescents and adults struggling with mental health issues.