PhD Scientific Days 2018

Budapest, April 19–20, 2018

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy Training Effects on Therapists: A Bilingual and Tri-National Comparison

Koren, Réka

Réka Koren1, Dr. Szabolcs Török2
1 Semmelweis University, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences, Budapest
2 Semmelweis University, Faculty of Health and Public Services, Budapest

Language of the presentation


Text of the abstract

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is known to be one of the most effective, experiential and empirically validated couple interventions that is well used in North-America and in some European and Asian countries. This short-term approach uses nine steps in a structured way to modify the distressed couples’ destructive emotional responses and interaction patterns with the power of emotion. The first step of becoming a certified EFT therapist is to complete the 4-day intensive externship program. For the first EFT externship in Hungary we replicated the earliest research that studied the effects of this training (Montagno et al., 2011). This original study was carried out on American and Canadian samples in North-America.

Our study investigated the short-term effects of the first 4-day EFT externship training held in Hungary in October 2016. We wanted to find out how the training affected the participating therapists both professionally and personally. We were also looking at cross-cultural differences.

We used three questionnaires based on Montagno and her colleagues’ Study 1: Knowledge and Competence Scale (KACS), Emotional Processing Scale (EPS), Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR). Participants completed the questionnaires pre- and post-training.

Out of the 175 participants, 120 completed both the pre- and post-test. Our main result was, that similarly to the original study, participants showed a significant improvement in knowledge and competency on the self-assessment scale of the KACS. However, our results did not match our expectations that the therapists’ emotional processing will improve after training.

Based on our results, it seems that the training conveys a good amount of knowledge and competency to the participants, regardless of the language or cultural differences. Regarding the personal aspect, we found differences from the North-American sample that are probably related to cultural differences.
Further research is planned to see how the effects remain after a period of 6 months.

Data of the presenter

Institute of Mental Health, 4/3. Doctoral Program
Supervisor: Dr. Szabolcs Török
E-mail address of the presenter:
Oral presentation