About Us

Our mission

To provide postgraduate higher education courses in the field of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as a higher education provider registered with the Tertiary Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), and to promote the development of quality and ethical counselling and therapy practice with an EFT focus. In addition, we provide ongoing professional development in EFT for practitioners.

Message from the Dean, IEFT


Our higher education postgraduate courses aim to develop qualified EFT practitioners. Our courses and subjects are designed to teach therapeutic processes that are user-friendly, respectful of clients and enabling of emotional growth and healing through awareness, experiencing and expressing emotional experience. We emphasise the therapeutic relationship as the crucible for holding and caring for clients.

Our postgraduate students find that Emotionally Focused counselling and therapy fits well with their practice and professional identity because it allows so many options and opportunities to work with emotional experience. Students spend time reflecting and exploring the protocols for practical application.

Our postgraduate students continually develop their self-awareness as practitioners as they learn Emotionally Focused counselling and psychotherapy.

I look forward to welcoming you into our academic courses and our EFT community.

Dr Michelle Webster

Dean, IEFT

The Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy (IEFT)

Established in 1999, IEFT’s primary focus is to educate health and allied health practitioners in the counselling and therapy skills used in the Emotionally Focused Therapy approach. The Institute is a registered higher education provider within the Foundation Education Group, offering accredited postgraduate education in the important area of Emotionally Focused work. IEFT is also an accredited international institute with the International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT).

As part of the Foundation Education Group, IEFT is focused on supporting student outcomes and engaging alumni in lifelong learning and continual development of skills. A core philosophy of the Group is to provide students and alumni with educational pathways with relevance across disciplines and employment sectors. The principle of educational pathways is at the centre of IEFT’s engagement with students. While Emotionally Focused Therapy and counselling are highly specialised areas, the discipline may provide additional pathways and linkages to other relevant postgraduate programs for our graduates.

Students at IEFT will experience:

  • Educational programs that develop skills and attributes valued by prospective employers and organisations
  • An academic governance and quality assurance framework that ensures academic standards and continuous improvement in teaching and learning
  • Innovative teaching and learning strategies
  • A commitment to scholarly activity and intellectual enquiry
  • Accredited courses and professional development programs delivered in an effective manner by appropriately trained staff with a high level of qualifications and demonstrated expertise
  • Student support services and interventions to support academic success
  • High standards of ethical practice
  • Strong graduate outcomes

The Foundation Education Group

Foundation Education Holdings is the parent company of IEFT. The aim of the Foundation Education Group as a whole is to provide, promote and undertake education, scholarship and associated student services. Foundation Education Holdings is the sole shareholder of IEFT. The primary purpose of the Foundation Education Group is to provide access and options for lifelong learning for all students and alumni.

Foundation Education Holdings is also the parent company of two growing Registered Training Organisations: Foundation Education and the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT).

Early in 2011, the Foundation Education Group established a number of articulation pathways with leading universities across Australia. These partnerships were established in recognition that a number of graduates were using vocational qualifications as their first step on a pathway to higher education. The strategic vision emerged to maintain and grow pathways via a number of external partners and to establish a higher education provider within the Group to offer a direct pathway into tertiary qualifications.


IEFT course information

In 2017 and 2018, IEFT offers two accredited higher education qualifications:

Emotionally Focused work has a wide range of applications, from individuals to couples, and short-term to long-term work. Emotionally Focused work is broadly defined as a process-experiential modality and has its origins in the client-centered, Gestalt and Experiential Therapies. In addition, it also has links with developmental approaches and the traditions of psychotherapy.

Sydney campus

Our postgraduate courses are provided on our campus in Sydney. Located in the suburb of Annandale, 5 km west of the Sydney CBD, the campus at 83 Johnston Street is nestled amongst heritage-listed buildings and is close to public amenities and transport. The campus is co-located with the Annandale Institute, which has the therapy rooms of prominent Emotionally Focused Therapy practitioners. This enables an immersive and supportive experience of this modality. This arrangement is specified in an ongoing Service Agreement, which is monitored by IEFT on an ongoing basis to ensure quality outcomes for students.


Student services

IEFT provides students with access to academic support services and interventions they need to succeed in their study. Students are encouraged to contact the Dean, Dr Michelle Webster, to discuss their needs.

Emotionally Focused Therapy – what is it?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a therapeutic modality which was developed in Canada in the mid-1980s by Dr Laura Rice, Dr Leslie Greenberg and Dr Sue Johnson. It has since developed with further academic research and systematic reviews.

The aim of Emotionally Focused work is the regulation, debriefing, exploring and experiencing emotions for the development of emotional health, thinking and understanding. The heart of the Emotionally Focused approach involves working with emotion at both verbal and creative levels.

The emphasis is on helping clients to remember, understand, and re-experience or feel their experiences and earlier emotional patterns, as appropriate. Emotionally Focused counselling and therapy focus on both present and past experiences, particularly the emotional responses and patterns underlying a person’s interactional stance towards others, and on the processing of these responses, in order to facilitate change.

Based on this rich and rewarding counselling and therapy model, our accredited postgraduate courses integrate this treatment methodology into the existing practice of health and allied health professionals. Graduates are able to work with clients to achieve positive change in problematic emotional states and interpersonal relationships.


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