Graduate Certificate in Emotion Focused Therapy

Edu​cating counsellors, social workers and therapists in Emotion Focused Therapy throughout Australia

 The Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma of Emotion Focused Therapy are specialised postgraduate courses which engage experienced and qualified practitioners from counselling, social work, psychotherapy, psychology, health and human services disciplines in learning the Emotion Focused approach to counselling with individuals and couples with a broad range of presentations.

Emotion Focused Therapy aims to process emotional experience by developing awareness, experiencing, regulating and expressing feelings for the development of emotional health and well-being and to enhance relationships. The heart of the Emotion Focused Therapy approach involves working competently with emotion on verbal and creative levels. The aim of Emotion Focused Therapy is to understand affect, feelings and emotions, and their relationship with thoughts and behaviours, for the development of emotional well-being. The Graduate Certificate in Emotion Focused Therapy is designed to develop practitioners’ knowledge and skills in the Emotion Focused approach and in the discipline of counselling more broadly.
The course focuses on assessing, exploring and intervening with emotional experience with individuals and couples. Students acquire a wide range of interventions for working with emotion at verbal and creative levels. Methods of working with emotional experience are presented and demonstrated in workshops. Methods of discovering, managing and working with emotional experience are outlined and demonstrated by academic teaching staff. Guidelines for counselling interventions using verbal and creative methods are provided in each subject.

Postgraduate AQF Level 8

Study Duration

1.5 years part-time

Delivery Mode

Blended Delivery

Number of Subjects


Credit Points


Degree Code

Grad Cert EFT

Course Details

EFT102 - Foundations For Emotion Focused Work

Credit points: 7       

Duration: The unit runs over one semester (19 weeks)


1. Elliott. R., Watson, J.C., Goldman, R. N., and Greenberg, L.S. (2004) Learning Emotion Focused Therapy. The process-Experiential Approach to Change. Washington, D.C: APA.

2. Greenberg, L.S. (2015). Emotion focused Therapy. Coaching clients to work through their feelings. (2nd ed). Washington D.C: APA.

Foundations for Emotion Focused Work is an introductory core subject. The unit is made up of four smaller sub-units: 

  • EFT116: Emotion Focused Work 
  • EFT117: Working with Experience
  • EFT118: Experiencing Emotions
  • EFT122: Clinical Day 1: Working with Feelings
EFT103 - Individual Counselling

Credit points: 7     

Duration: The unit runs over one semester (19 weeks)

Set text:

1. Cornell, A.W (1996) The Power of Focusing. A practical guide to self healing. C.A: New Harbinger Publications

2. Cornell, A.W (2013) Focusing in Clinical Practice. The essence of change. New York, London: W.W Norton & Company

3. Elliott. R., Watson, J.C., Goldman, R. N., and Greenberg, L.S. (2004) Learning Emotion Focused Therapy. The process-Experiential Approach to Change. Washington, D.C: APA

Individual Counselling is an introductory core subject made up of four nested sub-units:

  • EFT119: Focusing
  • EFT120: Emotion  Schemes
  • EFT115: Multiple Chair  
  • EFT123: Clinical Day 2: Working with Patterns
EFT121 - Adult-Child Polarity

Credit points: 2       

Duration: 6 weeks

Set Text:

Webster, M.A. (2019). Emotion-Focused Psychotherapy. A Practitioners’ Guide. Australia: Annandale Institute

Adult-Child Polarity is a 2-credit point unit. Adult-Child Polarity examines the theoretical foundation for understanding individuals presenting with diminished assertiveness, a collapsed self, and high levels of reactivity and whose immediate felt experience is the experience of the child. The Emotion Focused model draws on the concept of parts of the self in order to conceptualize and work with adult, parent, and child aspects developed from past childhood and adult experiences. You will learn how to work with clients to strengthen their adult aspect and hold their inner child. Verbal and creative interventions will be demonstrated and applied in practice sessions. This work is an important foundation for experiencing work, as clients become aware of their reactivity and identify inner adult-child polarities.

EFT110 - Self-Interruptive Processes

Credit points: 2       

Duration: 6 weeks

Self-Interruptive Processes is the second sub-unit in the subject of Individual Therapy. We will focus on identifying and working with clients’ interruptions to their authentic, experiencing self, by supporting them to identify and change their underlying emotion processing difficulties to regain personal agency and take empowered action. We will understand how, when emotional experience and expression is interrupted, core attachment and identity needs cannot be met leading to helplessness, passivity, and other personal and interpersonal difficulties.

This sub-unit will focus on the self-interruptive split, the conflict between two parts of the self where one part performs an interruptive process against the self. You will learn to facilitate two chair work to soften the self-interruptive and self-controlling aspect of self and strengthen the experiencing, expressive self, to increase self-agency and the expression of need.

Students will learn skills for transforming the self through demonstrations by academic teaching staff and in practice sessions.

EFT 124 - Multicultural Emotion Focused Perspectives

Credit points: 2     

Duration: 6 weeks

Set Text:  

Sue, D. W. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: theory and practice (7th ed. ed.). Wiley.

Multicultural Emotion Focused Perspectives is an individual subunit in the Graduate Certificate of EFT. The sub-unit equips students with multicultural knowledge, skills and attitudes for working with a wide range of clients. As EFT practitioners there are ethical underpinnings to individual world views which often create prejudices and biases which are socialised and are on the whole unconscious. By engaging in a pedagogy about culture, valuing independence, autonomy, philosophy, religion and family, we seek to understand the influence and versatility of embedded identities and their influence on our beliefs and values both positive and negative. Increased awareness of stereotyping, privilege, poverty, racism, ageism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of oppression, prepares the EFT practitioner in working with special challenges that may be important to specific client groups. For instance, how minority stress contributes to trauma, shame, interpersonal difficulties, self-criticism, lack of personal agency, anxiety and depression which are important variables for inclusion in the EFT treatment plan and building of the therapeutic alliance. The cross-cultural skills important in working with First Nations Indigenous Anangu – Koori Australians will teach us how to flexibly approach their needs sensitively. How a practitioner conveys their awareness of learnt biases, as well as historical suffering, often informs our clients of whether they can trust and communicate with us

Ethical behaviour goes beyond having an awareness of individual and cultural differences, to embracing a commitment to eliminate unconscious bias and discrimination in one’s EFT work. This commitment involves actively examining ourselves, advocating for those with less power, and working for social change.

EFT113 - Working with Shame

Credit points: 2       

Duration: 6 weeks

Working with shame will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the Emotion Focused formulation of shame as a relational yet often invisible experience. Primary maladaptive and secondary shame will be distinguished and explored, drawing on personal and professional experiences.

Shame is seen as a painful experience which can lead to depression, anxiety, addiction, perfectionism, poor life functioning, rage, and family violence. Antidotes to shame such as righteous anger at violation and neglect, sadness at loss, fear at the prospect of humiliation, annihilation and abandonment and compassion towards self with the development of authentic self-agency will be explored. Interventions for working with the self-critic, slippery and unclear narratives of self, interruptions to the authentic self and attachment trauma will be demonstrated.

You will develop Emotion-Focused interventions for effectively working with client presentations of shame and with inner experiences of humiliation, guilt and embarrassment, and related interpersonal difficulties. Advanced empathy and ‘Compassion Chair Work’ will be demonstrated to support the client to reduce defensiveness and experience an antidote to shame. You will explore, in practice, how experiences of shame can disrupt the capacity for relationships with self and others, and you will learn the implications of therapist shame for therapists as well as clients.

EFT106 - Supervised Practice 1

Credit points: 5       

Duration: Runs over 2 semesters

Supervised Practice 1 is the means of assuring the quality of connection with clients, and skill development. Supervision ensures ethical practice, including maintaining client confidentiality and managing risks to the safety of clients and others.

Supervised Practice 1 will be taken alongside your 125 hours of Clinical Practice in the Graduate Certificate of Emotion Focused Therapy. The process is designed to ensure that you will develop skills in EFT interventions and ensures optimal outcomes for clients. This subject will support supervisees in client assessment, case formulation, skilled application of emotion-focused interventions, and empathic attunement. Supervision will be provided in small groups of 6 or fewer via Zoom conferencing software from your own home or office with an Institute-employed clinical EFT supervisor. Students who have not completed their 125 EFT client contact hours at the end of supervised Practice 1 will undertake to either continue supervision via group supervision or can opt for individual sessions with an approved EFT.

You will present audio or video recordings of counselling sessions with client consent and identify the focus for supervision. Skills in case formulation and identifying clients’ emotional responses will be demonstrated and developed.

Graduate with a Grad Cert EFT or continue to complete the Gradute Diploma EFT

Upon completion of 7 unit at the graduate certificate level, students can choose to graduate to continue on to complete the Graduate Diploma.

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Course Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate the theoretical basis for the Emotion Focused model, encompassing its foundations in a range of counselling and psychotherapy modalities;

  • Draw on a wide range of Emotion-Focused skills for assessing and intervening with individuals; 

  • Interview, assess and work with a broad range of individual client presentations, including relationship difficulties, loss and grief and mental health concerns;

  • Refer to other appropriate practitioners and services, including medical, psychiatric, child protection and domestic violence, in the best interests of clients’ welfare;

  • Competently apply theoretical knowledge of the Emotion Focused model in counselling practice with individuals; 

  • Analyse, assess, develop, execute and evaluate assessment and intervention in Emotion Focused Therapy;

  • Work effectively with a broad range of client presentations by applying strategies to access inner experience and work collaboratively with their emotional aspects;

  • Demonstrate reflective practice skills and consider the ethical contraindications for accessing emotional experience.

Admission Requirements

  • An AQF Level 7 qualification (Bachelor’s Degree) or higher from a recognised sciences, psychology, social work, counselling, education, welfare, medicine, or health sequence of study and be working in a role that requires the provision of counselling (paid or voluntary).

  • A Vocational Education and Training (VET) AQF Level 5 or 6 Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree in a relevant field and membership or eligibility for membership of a professional association relevant to the qualification and at least 12 months of working in a role that requires the provision of counselling (paid or voluntary).

Special or Alternative Admission:

  • An AQF level 7 non-related Bachelor’s Degree qualification from a recognised academic institution.


  • A 2-year minimum, non-AQF professional training of at least 250 hours of face-to-face course work in counselling or psychotherapy where the program is accredited by PACFA or other recognised counselling or psychotherapy association.


  • Practice friendly education focusing on how to apply Emotion Focused Therapy skills in your practice.

  • Highly qualified, experienced and approachable academic teaching staff.

  • Easy to access online classrooms with subject curriculum and readings.

  • Supporting practitioners to practice therapy skills with constructive feedback.



Be present with the process and most of all, be kind to yourself as you learn to speak the language of your own soul.

If you think you’re doing this for your clients, think again, it will profoundly change your own perspective of self.

It’s life changing when you commit to the courage to delve deep into your own shadow.


Application Process


A qualification from a recognised academic institution in the arts, social sciences, psychology, social work, welfare, counselling, nursing or occupational therapy at AQF Level 7 (Bachelor’s degree) or higher.

Must also have included counselling skills training, and membership or eligibility for membership of a professional association relevant to the qualification. Must have employment in a role that requires provision of formal counselling (paid or voluntary), and be engaged in formal supervision of counselling practice.


A non-relevant qualification from a recognised academic institution, or professional training in counselling or psychotherapy accredited by PACFA, or employment in a clinical role by a relationship and/or family organisation designated by the Federal Attorney General’s Department; two years' work experience in a role that requires provision of formal counselling (paid or voluntary); engagement in formal supervision of counselling practice; and must attend an interview and provide references that attest to applicants’ counselling experience and competence from supervisor or line manager.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 

Applicants may be requested to provide a digital recording of a counselling session (having obtained client consent). Applicants with a relevant qualification who have not completed counselling skills training will be required to attend designated counselling skills workshops provided by IEFT applicants with a relevant qualification who have not completed subjects on the theoretical base for counselling may be required to complete other theoretical studies prior to admission.

IEFT has an approved internal articulation pathway for applicants who have attended and successfully completed one or more IEFT Professional Development Workshops and assessment requirements. Applicants who did not complete assessment requirements will be required to complete a challenge assessment.

RPL is a process whereby knowledge and skills you already have may be recognised, irrespective of where or how they were acquired. Applications for RPL must be submitted to

Please note that the RPL assessment process takes up to 4 weeks from the day payment for the RPL application received.