Diversity & Inclusion in EFT

Embracing Diversity in EFT & at ACEFT

Clare Rosoman is committed to making EFT accessible to all people in all relationships. This underpins all her training workshops in EFT for mental health professionals.

Read on to learn more about diversity in EFT or click here for Clare's approach to EFT training.

International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) Position Statement on Diversity & Racism

At the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) we are dedicated to developing secure, resilient individuals and successful trusting relationships between partners and within families across the globe. As such, we stand against all forms of racism and discrimination and stand in support of the Black community. With new eyes, we condemn the abhorrent impact of systemic racism in our world, our societies, and in our own organization.

We are committed to listening, learning and growing, so that we can better embody our values of inclusion, equality and diversity. We can and will do better. As a community, we commit to becoming an anti-racist organization, working in close collaboration with our Diversity and Inclusion Group, as well as with members in our community who have experienced marginalization. Together we will fight racism, both as a principle and as a tangible reality in our training programs, our clinical work and our interactions with communities across different countries and cultures.

Our renewed aim is to share our expertise and knowledge in the service of healing racial trauma, helping people value differences and enabling them to also embrace our common humanity. We will take a more focused and deliberate action to welcome and promote greater openness and compassion in all our endeavours.

With inclusion, equity, and diversity as foundational values, our work will continue to remain grounded in attachment science which asserts that we are all wired for connection and share common needs to be seen, valued and supported by others.

With so much to learn we will remain curious and committed to our aspirations to become an equitable organization where everyone can thrive—until we get it right. Working together we will get there.


ACEFT Stance on Diversity & Inclusion in EFT Training & Therapy

As the Australian Centre for EFT, we stand by ICEEFT’s statement on diversity and inclusion in EFT and commit to taking real action to be inclusive of all and to prevent the marginalisation of any members within our Australian EFT community. EFT is for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, sex, gender, ability, or age.

EFT is for all relationships between people who matter to each other, regardless of the structure and nature of that relationship. EFT is about nurturing strong healthy relationships that benefit all; individuals, groups and society as a whole. ACEFT honours and respects the traditional owners across this vast land in which we provide our services.

– from Dr Clare Rosoman

Embracing Cultural Diversity

Cultural sensitivity means acknowledging, accepting and appreciating other cultures and other cultural identities. It means recognising that differences exist, without judging any one culture or person as better or worse than the other. Cultural sensitivity counterbalances "ethnocentrism" which is when members of the dominant culture view the world through their lens and expect and assume that their experience is representative of others' experiences.

This is important for EFT therapists to be aware of, particularly those from the dominant culture, so that they can be sensitive to the differences that make a difference to a person's experience. The context in which a person lives and loves is a vital part of their feeling of safety and security in the world and we honor and value this in EFT.

Books for exploring systems of oppression & embracing cultural diversity

How to be an Anti-racist
by Ibram X. Kendi

White Fragility
by Robin Diangelo

Me and White Supremacy
by Layla Saad

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia
by Anita Heiss

Embracing Sexuality, Gender, Body & Relationship Diversity

Descriptive Words and Titles Matter

These videos will help you to make sure that you are aware of some of the important ways people can describe their sexuality, their gender-identity and their relationships. Part of creating safety in close relationships is not making assumptions about people's pronouns, gender, sexuality or relationship style. We foster safe relationships when we bring a spirit of acceptance to our professional relationships and friendships in the EFT world. In the EFT community, we want everyone to feel safe and respected for the unique human they are.

Some of these videos will provide an introduction to different relationship styles and structures that can be an alternative to the dominant model of monogamy and can help us to question our ideas about healthy relationships. We all need to be aware of our own biases, particularly if we identify as part of the dominant group - heterosexual, monogomous, cisgendered. We all need to work toward learning as much as we can about different ways to live and love in order to reduce the risk of our blind spots creating potential hurt for another.

Embracing Neurodiversity

We recognise that there is a growing need to focus on our brain differences, not deficits. This wider view of "normal" is a big part of something called neurodiversity. Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways. In this way, there is no one "right" way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits. Viewed through a neurodiversity lens, all people and all brain styles are accepted and valued. This way of describing brain styles is often used in the context of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or developmental conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities.

In line with a neurodiversity model, we encourage inclusive, nonjudgmental language. While many disability advocacy organizations prefer person-first language ("a person with autism," "a person with Down syndrome"), some research has found that the majority of the autistic community prefers identity-first language ("an autistic person"). Therefore, rather than making assumptions, it is best to ask directly about a person’s preferred language, and how they want to be addressed.

EFT Therapist, Dr Erin Findley Talks about Neurodiversity Affirming EFT

This 1hr30min webinar will introduce you to Dr Erin Findley, who is an EFT therapist in Napa, California. In this webinar, Dr Findley provides an overview of the neurodiversity paradigm and offers many suggestions for working effectively with neurodivergent and mixed-neurotype people using Emotionally Focused Therapy. This video provides an excellent introduction to the neurodiversity approach to embracing diversity in all humans. Click here to watch this video (or click the picture), you will be prompted to share your details with Dr Findley before gaining access to watch.

Free ACEFT resource for learning more about culturally safe EFT practice

Therapists: Complete Our Free Webinar on Culturally Safe & Anti-Oppressive EFT Practice


Resources to Help us to Listen and Learn

Academic Articles on Diversity in Attachment & EFT

  • Cultural Adaptations of Emotionally Focused Therapy - Allan, Edwards & Lee (2022) - CLICK HERE
  • Conceptual & Application Issues: Emotionally Focused Therapy with Gay-male Couples - Allan & Johnson (2017) - CLICK HERE
  • A Narrative Expansion of Emotionally Focused Therapy with Intercultural Couples - Linhof & Allan (2018) - CLICK HERE
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy: A Culturally Sensitive Approach for African-American Heterosexual Couples - Nightingale, Awosan & Stavrianopoulos (2019) - CLICK HERE
  • Attachment Injury in Couples Where One Partner is Trans-Identified - Chapman & Caldwell (2012) - CLICK HERE
  • Multiple loves: The effects of attachment with multiple concurrent romantic partners on relational functioning - Moors, Ryan & Chopik (2019) - CLICK HERE

Videos, Webinars and Podcasts to Embrace Cultural Diversity

  • Interview with Dr Tracy Westerman on need for more Aboriginal therapists – CLICK HERE
  • Talking About Race: Webinar by Dr Bukky Kolawole – CLICK HERE
  • Workshops with Robin DiAngelo – CLICK HERE
  • Other therapist trainings in cultural competency in Australia – www.indigenouspsychservices.com.au
  • Using EFT To Repair Social Injuries with EFT Trainer Dr James Hawkins - CLICK HERE
  • Racism & Attachment Theory with Dr James Hawkins - CLICK HERE

Useful Links for EFT Therapists

  • Just Relating – A Community and Training Resource for Multicultural Competency in Attachment Therapy – www.justrelating.org
  • EFT Lifeline - Training for EFT therapists in culture, diversity and context - www.eft-lifeline.com
  • Queer EFT is listserv to bring together any and all who have at minimum completed the Externship in EFT who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, non-binary, gender diverse, two spirit, and everyone else under the umbrella. There are no certification requirements to join this group. The purpose of the listserv is for LGBTQ EFT clinicians to be able to connect with one another and to have a venue in which to discuss EFT-related topics that pertain to gender, sexuality, etc.
    Contact Ady Ben-Israel at adybenisrael@gmail.com