Masterclass Emotion-Focused Therapy for Social Anxiety

Enhancing Empatic Attunement in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

6 en 7 juni 2019

Social anxiety (or social phobia) is a chronic condition with wide-ranging effects on interpersonal, occupational and psychological functioning. Although current treatment guidelines emphasise CBT, effective alternatives have recently emerged.

In this two-day work, Robert begins by describing current humanistic theories of social anxiety. Next,  he presents the evidence on the outcomes of humanistic therapies for anxiety difficulties, including recent studies on EFT. And then summarizes the promising results from a recent study comparing EFT to Person-Centred therapy for social anxiety, which showed large effects for both treatments but superior outcomes for EFT. After that, Robert describes the application of EFT emotion theory to social anxiety, focusing on helping clients elaborate anxiety emotion schemes, understanding different kinds of anxiety, and helping clients regulate dysregulated anxiety states in sessions.

The first day concludes with a description of a set of propositions that make up the EFT model of social anxiety. This model posits early abuse or bullying by primary caregivers, siblings or peers, resulting in two internal self-configurations. One of these is a more explicit hypervigilant protective internal guard aspect, which scans the environment for social dangers, trying to help the person to prepare for or avoid these situations but typically causing emotion dysregulation. The other, deeper configuration is an implicit harsh, shaming critic aspect, an internalization of previous social trauma experiences, which generates a sense of self as socially defective and which is the source of the social anxiety guard aspect.

Day two will focus on the application of key EFT tasks in working with and resolving social anxiety: Unfolding anxiety episodes, working with anxiety splits, and helping client offer compassion to the vulnerable parts of self that underlie social anxiety. Robert will conclude by presenting an integrated model of EFT-SA practice, which consists of a sequence of interlinked therapeutic tasks, starting with evocative unfolding and two-chair enactment of social anxiety episodes, followed by emotion regulation work, work on deeper self-critical processes and unresolved relationships, and finally self-soothing work. Skill practice using own experiences will be used throughout both days.

Voor wie?

Deze Masterclass is geschikt voor (Klinisch en GZ-)Psychologen, Psychotherapeuten, Psychiaters werkzaam in de GGZ. U heeft enige kennis en ervaring met Emotion-Focused Therapy.

HBO-ers: deze masterclass kan mogelijk ook gevolgd worden door HBO-opgeleiden werkzaam in de ggz, mits zij zowel over specifieke nascholing en specialisatie (in Psychotherapie) als relevante werkervaring beschikken.


  • Trainer: Robert Elliott
  • Dates: 6 and 7 June 2019
  • Group size: maximum of 32 participants 
  • Location: Apanta-academy, te Eindhoven 
  • Price: € 525,-- (including lunch, coffee, tea and water)

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