Singapore University of Social Sciences

Couple Counselling: Emotionally - Focused Couple Therapy (Classroom & Synchronous)

Couple Counselling: Emotionally - Focused Couple Therapy (Classroom & Synchronous) (CET339)

Applications Open: 07 June 2024

Applications Close: 27 September 2024

Next Available Intake: 18 October 2024

Course Types: Short Course

Language: English

Duration: 4 days

Fees: $2400

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: SkillsFuture

School/Department: SUSS Academy

Level: Advanced
Duration: 4 days 
Dates: 18 October (Fri), 25 October (Fri), 26 October( Sat), and 15 November 2024 (Fri)
Venue: Singapore University of Social Sciences and ZOOM



This course provides participants with theories on love relationship and attachment between adults, as well as the process of addressing and healing distressed relationships. Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples is an experiential/systemic therapy which focuses on helping spouses/partners restructure the emotional responses that maintain their negative interaction patterns. Participants will learn the nine therapeutic steps in EFT. The course will also equip participants with basic EFT skills to direct couples away from conflict deadlocks into forming new bonding interactions in their relationships.

Who Should Attend

This programme is for professionals, as well as individuals embarking on a career switch into the social service sectors seeking to gain mastery in the Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) approach, specialising in couple relationships.


  • Current Couple Theory and Challenges
  • Theoretical Background to Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples
  • The EFT Framework (Stages 1 – 3, Steps 1 – 9)
  • EFT Interventions
  • Impasse in couple counselling
  • Special Issues in EFT Couple Work
  • EFT Case Discussion

Learning Outcomes

  • Appraise the theoretical underpinnings of Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples
  • Assess the ‘music of the dance’ between partners, and move the couple into effective loving and a relationship of interdependence
  • Formulate the way EFT tenets are linked to key emotions and events in interactions between spouses/partners
  • Compose interventions on accessing key elements of emotional distress and de-escalating destructive interaction patterns
  • Construct positive interactions that renew trust and intimacy or reduce destructive interaction patterns
  • Recommend the ways therapist is able to overcome therapeutic impasses in couple therapy


A. Knowledge and Understanding (Theory Component)

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the underpinnings and stages of Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples
  • Explain the linkages of emotions and attachment needs with the interactions between spouses/partners
  • Describe the applications of EFT interventions
  • Understand how the therapist is able to overcome therapeutic impasses in EFT couple therapy

B. Key Skills (Practical Component)

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate ability to apply some of the EFT intervention skills
  • Develop intervention plans to address emotional distress and de-escalate destructive interaction patterns
  • Strengthen positive interactions for couples to renew trust and intimacy
  • Identify strengths in the couple relationship


 Day 1
09:00 - 10:30
10:30 - 10:45Break
10:45 - 11:45The EFT approach and how it is unique
11:45 - 12:45Theoretical Background to EFT
12:45 - 13:45Lunch
13:45 - 15:05The EFT Framework
15:05 - 15:20EFT Interventions
15:20 - 16: 00EFT Case Discussion
16:00 - 16:15 Break
16:15 - 17:15 Activity: Role-play
17:15 - 17:30Lecture Summary
 Day 2
 09:00 - 10:15EFT Interventions
 10:15 - 10:30Break
 10:30 - 11:15Stage 1: Step 1 – Assessment of the couple relationship
 11:15 - 13:00Activity: Role-play
 13:00 - 14:00Lunch
 14:00 - 14:45Stage 1: Step 2 – Identifying negative interaction cycle
 14:45 - 16:00Activity: Role-play
 16:00 - 16:15Break
 16:15 - 16:30EFT interventions/ Relevance to their work
 16:30 - 17:30EFT Case Discussion
 Day 3
 09:00 - 10:00EFT Case Discussion
 10:00 - 10:15Break
 10:15 - 10:45Stage 1: Step 3 and 4 - De-escalation
 10:45 - 11:10EFT interventions
 11:10 - 12:10Activity: Role-play
 12:10 - 13:10Lunch
 13:10 - 14:15Stage 2: Step 5 to 7 – Withdrawer re-engagement and Pursuer Softening
 14:15 - 15:15Activity: Role-play
 15:15 - 15:30Break
 15:30 - 17:30Activity: Role-play
 Day 4
 09:00 - 10:00EFT Case Discussion
 10:00 - 10:15Break
 10:15 - 11:30Stage 2: Step 5 to 7 – Withdrawer re-engagement and Pursuer Softening
 11:30 - 12:30EFT Case discussion
 12:30 - 13:30Lunch
 13:30 - 14:15Stage 3: Step 8 and 9 - Consolidation
 14:15 - 15:15Activity: Role-play
 15:15 - 15:30Break
 15:30 - 16:30Activity: Role-play
 16:30 - 17:30Overcoming Impasse and Special Issues in EFT


  • Case Discussion: Participants will be given a case study to analyse and everyone will take turns to share with the whole class about what they learnt about EFT from the case study. The lecturer assesses the accuracy of their understanding each time and provides the correct understanding on the spot if needed. A total of 5 hrs is allocated for case discussions.
  • Demonstration: During each role-play session, participants will be split into groups of four and each will take a turn to role-play as the EFT therapist. The lecturer will move around the groups to assess each participant’s clinical skills during their turn as a therapist and provide the correct understanding on the spot.  A total of 10 hrs is allocated for role-playing. 


  • Degree in counselling, and at least 1 year experience in counselling and currently doing counselling work
  • Degree in related fields (psychology, social work and education), completed the 5 foundational modules, at least 3 year experience in counselling and currently doing counselling work at an SSA
  • Master in Psychology or Master in Social Work, at least 3 year experience in counselling and currently doing counselling work at an SSA and completed the foundational module Practicum: Specialised Counselling Skills

About the Trainer

Jean Chen Xiao MingJean Chen Xiao Ming
Jean is Director at Relationship Matters and has been a psychotherapist for more than 15 years, working extensively with couples, individuals and families with parenting issues.

Jean XM Chen is a master clinical member and clinical supervisor with the Singapore Association of Counselling (SAC) and certified EFT therapist with the International Centre for Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (ICEEFT). In addition to her Masters in Counselling, she is also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Systemic Therapy, Satir, Expressive Arts Therapy, Bowen Family Systems Theory, Gottman Couples Therapy, Prepare Enrich, Play Therapy, Crisis Intervention and Clinical Supervision

Other than doing therapeutic work, she also provides supervision to other professionals in the field such as private practitioners, social workers and counsellors.


Application Procedures

Please submit the following documents to

  1. Coloured copy (back and front) of NRIC for Singaporeans and PRs, or "Employment"/"S" Pass for foreign applicant
  2. Application form

Course Fee

Course Fee for $2400

1 Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy: Singaporeans aged 40 and above may enjoy subsidies up to 90% of the course fees.
2 Enhanced Training Support for SMEs: SME-sponsored employees (Singaporean Citizens and PRs) aged 21 and above may enjoy subsidies up to 90% of the course fees.

  • Participants are required to achieve at least 75% attendance and pass any prescribed examinations/assessments or submit any course/project work (if any) under the course requirement.
  • Participants are required to complete all surveys and feedbacks related to the course
  • The course fees are reviewed annually and may be revised. The University reserves the right to adjust the course fees without prior notice.
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences reserves the right to amend and/or revise the above schedule without prior notice

For clarification, please contact the SUSS Academy via the following:

Telephone: +65 6248 0263
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