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Continuing Professional Development

Educating counsellors, social workers and therapists in Emotionally Focused Therapy throughout Australia.

The Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy offers courses and workshops as ‘stand-alone’ subjects for continuing professional development for health practitioners.

Some of the courses and workshops are aligned with the Medicare requirements for focused psychological work. 

Learn more about our CPD educators

John Falcon is a registered psychologist, a clinical supervisor, and an educator who is committed to providing clients, supervisees and learners with the requisite knowledge, skills and support to not only enhance their own lives and career aspirations but to also consciously apply that learning in practice. John has specialised throughout his career as a counselling psychologist in addictions therapy which has led to a variety of short and long-term positions in Australian and American therapeutic clinics. John has also maintained his career as an educator and student support officer over the past twenty years. John has also contributed to the currency and scholarship of the subjects he teaches and actively participates in course and assessment review and development processes. He is an experienced and informed facilitator of learning, he is acutely aware of an individual’s strengths and limitations, and he is highly experienced in providing the necessary support and/or advocacy so that the individual can achieve their personal, professional and/or academic objectives.

Nicky has over 25 years of experience in diverse human services practice.

She has a Bachelor of Social Work, A Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Public Health.

Early in her career she specialised in clinical work and specifically trained in Narrative and Existential therapies as well as Group Work and other therapeutic modalities. Her interest clinically lies more towards postmodern practices as she believes these are more respectful and empowering for clients. Throughout her career, she has worked with many client groups but predominantly in the areas of loss and grief, trauma, HIV / AIDS, Sexual Health & AOD and family and relationship counselling in various acute and primary health care settings.

She has managed many hospital and community teams and was the Director of Social Work across two significant Sydney hospitals and several community services.

She later worked in the executive levels across two area health services and held policy and strategic roles looking at quality improvement, patient outcomes and patient advocacy.

She has worked in the private aged care space and managed varied professional services across multiple facilities.

Following these roles, she transitioned her professional life to one of consultant and contractor to enable her to work around the needs of her family and for the past 10 years, she has used her skill and experience to provide various roles and services across diverse organisations. She now conducts comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessments and reports of complex clients for a government organisation, she conducts thorough assessments of potential foster carers, she provides professional development training and supervision for various agencies as well as clinical supervision for both staff and students, she develops instructional design and provides education and training for several higher education facilities, she consults to Not For Profit organisations and additionally, she runs a small recruitment business which does well due to the extensive people management skill and experience employed.

Dr Melissa Harte is a Counselling Psychologist who supports and assists people to improve their lives. She is passionate about the Person-Centred approach and wanted to be involved in running this mini-conference as a way of bringing more attention to Person-Centred principles in Australia and surrounding countries. Her diverse range of services includes; face-to-face counselling, training, supervision and professional development within an Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) framework. She is an Internationally Accredited Trainer in EFT with the ISEFT and the Training and Program Director of the newly formed Australian Institute for Emotion Focused Therapy (AIEFT). 

Kris brings decades of experience in teaching, developing, implementing, and delivering academic programmes across the Asia Pacific. His expansive career spans community services, psychotherapy, higher education and community service sectors. He has a Masters in Social Science and a Master of Science in Medicine (Psychotherapy). Kris teaches ethics as adjunct faculty at universities and higher education institutions across Australia and New Zealand.

Michelle has a background as a life and Recovery Coach and has been an adult educator, workshop trainer and facilitator for 15 years.

As an educator, for the past few years, she has been a teaching Interpersonal, Conflict Management, time management, Vocational and Academic Skills. She has taught at TAFE and Community Colleges as well as at the University level. She has also run her own workshops and delivered them as a part of the Northern Rivers Social Development Council’s training initiative for community organisations.

Michelle is passionate about communication skills and assisting people to achieve their goals, both professionally, and personally. She is also very interested in the challenge of online communication and how to best harness this forum in order to engage, motivate and inspire students so that they can achieve their study goals with ease, stay in the game and ultimately step into their new professions or develop a wider range of skills for their current careers. 

As a life coach, Michelle has ample experience with coaching others and bringing out their best. She prides herself on having the ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

Michelle is a monthly volunteer with Twenty10/GLCS facilitating the women’s coming out group. This is one of the most rewarding elements of her month.

Poonam has 15 years of experience working with students as a counsellor. She has a Bachelors in Psychology (Hons), a Graduate Diploma in Communication Management and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Poonam is an individual member of PACFA. She is also an Affiliate Member with the Australian College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators. Poonam is passionate about the helping professions and she is now committed to helping graduates advance their skills and develop their practice

Continuing Professional Development Workshop Topics

Accidental counselling is designed for employees in organisations requiring training in maintaining boundaries and dealing with people they may come across accidentally who require counselling.

The training involves connecting with people and influencing positive change without burning out. To maintain healthy boundaries and assist people undergoing stress or dilemma.The aim is to be able to support someone in your care and that can often mean dealing with difficult issues and responding to their pain and suffering. The training will include:

  • Using your communication skills in a counselling context
  • Being able to identify distress and respond appropriately
  • Using self-care strategies
  • Understanding boundaries
  • Using your personal qualities to manage a difficult situation
  • Recognizing and responding to a crisis situation.

Register today via Eventbrite

All things Death & Dying;

A course to improve our comfort and literacy around death & dying

Do you work in a role where you are faced with death and dying? Do you face death and dying in your personal life and feel uncomfortable around it? Do you feel uncomfortable or unconfident to be around death or dying or to talk to people about it?

Do you want to feel more confident to talk about death and dying in respectful and meaningful ways? Do you want to feel more comfortable to be around death and dying either at work or in your personal life?

Workshop Overview

The All things Death & Dying workshop is designed for any person who works in a context where they are faced with death and dying or any individual who faces death and dying in their personal life. Participants will be equipped with new understandings around death and dying and explore the relationship they have as individuals with death and dying. The workshop will also address how, as a society, we manage and talk about death and dying and in doing so, it will help create dialogue and improve death literacy.

It will provide participants with a safe forum to normalise these conversations and share collaboratively all things ‘death & dying’. It will address how to support people who are dying or who have lost someone close to them. The unique way different ages and diverse cultures experience and understand death and dying will also be addressed.

Participants will collaborate and connect with each other in a safe and respectful space to explore ideas, views and beliefs that perhaps are too challenging to address in other contexts.

The workshop will enhance the development of skills and knowledge around:

  • Talking about death and dying
  • Improve literacy around death and dying
  • Development of compassion and respect around death and dying
  • Understanding and respecting how other cultures experience death and dying
  • Normalising death and dying as a part of life
  • Understanding how our society constructs death and the impact of this

By utilising a mix of evidence-based theory and interactive and experiential learning, participants will be supported to develop their own specific skills and knowledge to feel more comfortable and confident talking about and death and dying.

Learning Outcomes

  • Development of healthy discourse and literacy around death and dying
  • Understanding of the relationship diverse cultures have with death and dying
  • Unpack and explore why and how talking about death and dying is so challenging in our society
  • Develop a greater comfort and familiarity to talk about death and dying
  • Develop specific ways to express compassion and support
  • Ability to know how to respond to others who are struggling emotionally due to the loss of a loved one.

Who should attend this workshop?

This workshop is suitable for anyone who faces death and dying either in their work or personal lives;

  • Counsellor
  • Support Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Welfare Worker
  • Community worker
  • Teacher
  • Staff who work at a Funeral parlour or Morgue
  • Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Team Leader
  • Nurses
  • Aged Care support professional
  • Any client facing role
  • Wellbeing health professional such as a personal trainer, yoga teacher, massage therapist.


This workshop can be customised to suit your organisational requirements, however, is usually delivered in two face-to-face days with a period of time between each day for the purpose of consolidation and exploration of skills taught.


Your workplace or our Sydney Olympic Park Venue.

Register today via Eventbrite

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is one of the most rigorously researched forms of humanistic practice and has been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. A significant number of adults report being exposed to one or more traumatic event in their lifetimes and child abuse disturbingly common. Working with single event trauma or developmental trauma requires careful consideration around avoiding re-traumatisation and recognising dissociation. Knowing the signs of dissociation and how to deal with it is vital in trauma work.

This full-day experiential EFT workshop will provide participants with introductory knowledge and theoretical understanding of the EFT model and practice some of the models therapeutic interventions applicable to trauma work. Practical skills include grounding, developing dual awareness as proposed by Barbette Rothschild, developing a safe place to promote self-soothing and simple but effective methods to assist with hyperarousal.  In addition to the basic principles of working with trauma, a model of trauma processing will be presented.  This model proposes that if a traumatic memory is accessed via bodily felt-sense in conjunction with emotional arousal and activation of other schematic elements, it is possible to reprocess the event in such a way that the person is no longer plagued by the painful aspects of it and not re-traumatised by the re-remembering that occurs when asked to retell their story. If the person is able to express the appropriate primary emotion and articulate their needs within the remembered experience, the associated painful emotional charge is lessened. The event is remembered as having occurred but the emotional intensity is greatly reduced. This reprocessing of the traumatic event is more than a desensitising of that traumatic experience. Participants will be able to apply knowledge gained from this workshop and integrate into their work with their trauma and non-trauma clients immediately as no prior knowledge of EFT is required.

This workshop is suitable for people working directly or indirectly with clients of trauma. These include psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychotherapists, counsellors, occupational therapists, nurses, case workers and managers.  No past experiences or training necessary.

This workshop aims to cover:

  • Trauma theory from an emotion focused perspective
  • The concept of dissociation and how to manage it
  • Emotion regulation through grounding and other strategies
  • Developing a safe environment in which to process trauma
  • How and when to process the trauma
  • Introduction to an extended version of focusing that process painful and/or traumatic events.

In this environment of social uncertainty and a rapidly changing technological landscape, it is becoming more important that we are able to “be” with ourselves in a way that brings deep rest and relief to our spiritual, emotional, physical and mental bodies.

This dynamic workshop offers an opportunity to mostly transcend the cognitive space and cultivate awareness around our being, essentially creating more space within ourselves.

Over the two days, participants will explore and engage in processes including symbols, sandplay, art, dance and guided imagery, all of which will be grounded within the theoretical frameworks from which they emerge. 

Embracing the unknown and gently tapping into the unconscious realm as a source of inspiration and wisdom is a powerful way to replenish, empower, change, reflect and renew all levels of our being.

These two days offer a space to let go of a sometimes-overwhelming world of information and reason while enhancing our ability to live with chaos and challenge.

For practitioners: Along with providing professional resources, this workshop will offer opportunities to develop the self of the therapist.  Participants will be exposed to creative therapies as a means to experience what they can offer their clients.

For non-practitioners: A place for process and renewal in the context of a learning environment (not group therapy). 

Not suitable for highly traumatised individuals.

Constructive Conflict Management – Yes it’s possible

Do you run a mile when faced with conflict? Or do you growl your way to victory with everyone who ever disagrees with you? How do you feel about having altercations with your colleagues and the people you love in your life?

How would you like to manage your reactions in a way that assists you to honestly communicate your needs and wants and at the same time learn to be open to listening to another’s point of view?

Imagine if you could learn to deal with conflict in a healthy and positive way? Imagine if you could view it as an opportunity …

If you are human, then you are prone to conflict. Whilst you can’t prevent it, you can learn how to manage it in a productive manner.

Conflict in the workplace can be a positive and productive process. It is an opportunity for awareness, growth and understanding. It’s important though to learn some of the fundamental skills that at the very least encourage respect and a non-blame attitude.

Constructive Conflict Management is an in-depth study of conflict and negotiation skills. You will identify your default conflict behaviours and attitudes. You will discover how you can use conflict to encourage change and awareness. In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to better understand conflict, your own attitude towards it, and learn how to resolve conflict without damaging relationships.

Developing skills and awareness to deal with conflict constructively and thereby further enhancing and deepening personal and professional relationships. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and interpret personal conflict styles
  • Articulate the stages and types of conflict
  • Understand or describe the levels of conflict
  • Propose a plan to enhance interpersonal communication skills
  • Handle difficult conversations
  • Utilise techniques of conflict intervention strategies
  • Develop skills to manage emotions

Who should attend??

  • Constructive Conflict Management will be especially useful to people managers in a work situation.

Register today via Eventbrite

Do you work in a team or an organisation with staff from other cultures? Does your agency service clients from diverse groups? Do you sometimes worry about the language you use and whether it is culturally sensitive and appropriate? Do you live among different cultures yet not really know much about them? Would you like to ensure your behaviour at work or in your neighbourhood is respectful and inclusive of other cultures? And how do you do this?

Workshop Overview

The Diversity, inclusion and Cultural Competence workshop is designed for any person who works or lives among other cultures. Participants will explore and unpack diversity and its impact on the industry, the workplace, management, and society. The workshop will examine concepts of diversity, inclusion, sensitivity, acceptance and respect. It will address differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion.

Participants will be introduced to key concepts, tools and techniques to address the effects of “unconscious biases”. It will support participants to aspire to work and live in ways that are culturally competent and supportive of diversity. It will teach participants the benefits of working in this way for themselves, their clients, their teams and organisations.

Participants will walk away with a genuine new understanding and respect around the evidence for working from an inclusive and diverse position and philosophy.

The workshop will enhance the development of skills and knowledge around:

  • Concepts such as diversity, inclusion and cultural competence
  • Understanding and unpacking diversity and its impact on the industry, the workplace, management, and society
  • Developing direct ways to work and interact with people and diverse groups in respectful and sensitive ways
  • Developing awareness around our own unconscious biases and how to manage this.

By utilising a mix of evidence-based theory and interactive and experiential learning, participants will be supported to develop their own skills and knowledge to become more culturally competent.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand concepts such as diversity, inclusion and cultural competence
  • Understand diversity and its impact on the industry, the workplace, management, and society
  • Develop direct ways to work and interact with diverse people and groups in respectful and sensitive ways
  • Develop awareness around our own unconscious biases and how to manage these
  • Develop an understanding of how to work in culturally competent ways
  • Understand the distinct components of cultural competence.

Who should attend this workshop?

This workshop is suitable for anyone who works or lives alongside diverse groups either in their work or personal lives:

  • Counsellors
  • Support Workers
  • Social Workers
  • Welfare Workers
  • Community workers
  • Teachers
  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Team Leaders
  • Nurses
  • Aged Care support professionals
  • Any client facing role
  • Wellbeing health professionals (personal trainer, yoga teacher, massage therapist etc.


This workshop can be customised to suit your organisational requirements, however, is usually delivered in two face-to-face days with a period of time between each day for the purpose of consolidation and exploration of skills taught.


Your workplace or our Sydney Olympic Park Venue.

Are you confused with the ever-growing acronym that belongs to the LGBTIQ+ community? Would you like to know and understand each of those letters and what types of people fit within these diverse parts of society?

You may or may not know someone who identifies as part of this community. According to the research, many people don’t yet feel safe enough to bring their whole self to the workplace and to the different services that they need. And many still experience some type of discrimination.

Organisations are enthusiastic to improve their quality of care and service provision in order to include and provide for their LGBTIQ+ clients, consumers, staff and volunteers. Society is at a real crossroads in that LGBTIQ+ visibility is growing. Awareness is the key hence the need for basic knowledge building around members of the LGBTIQ+ people and their communities and their specific needs.

Workshop Overview

It has become essential to understanding the diversity of the Australian community, the workforce and the clients we may encounter, and how to best support them. Moving beyond tolerance, beyond acceptance, and towards inclusion. This is appreciation and valuing difference.

This one-day useful workshop is a practical and interactive awareness training for working with members of the LGBTIQ+ community. It will also provide participants with ideas towards the best inclusion practices in the workplace and the provision of services to people with diverse genders and sexualities.

Aim: Understanding some of the unique issues facing this population of our community and learning how to best support and meet their needs.

Learning outcomes:

  • Articulate each of the elements of the LGBTIQA+ acronym
  • Differentiate and understand terminology between gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status
  • Develop the skills to build open and inclusive rapport with members of this community
  • Identify common stereotypes of LGBTIQ+ people and understand the harm it can have on their wellbeing
  • Identify the ways members of this part of the community are marginalised and the impact it may have on their overall wellbeing
  • Propose strategies for developing equity and cultural inclusivity in the workplace and the provision of services
  • Understand the difference between tolerance, acceptance and inclusion.

Working towards Inclusion is a one-day LGBTIQ+ awareness workshop that offers practical ideas for developing confidence and awareness for working with diversity specifically in relation to gender, sexuality or intersex members of the community.

Workshop includes information sharing, open discussion, interactive activities and a take-home pack. This can also be run as a four-week online delivery mode.

Register today via Eventbrite


Trauma Bonds – an attachment to someone that becomes destructive.

This workshop explores the neuroscience of attachment and attachment styles that set up individuals vulnerable to destructive relationships. Victims become silent sufferers who believe that their lives are destined to repeat past events. We will explore triggers that set off a cascade of emotional responses and heal those responses with emotional regulation. We will investigate the source of the trauma bond and break the cycle of destructive relationships and discovery on how to recover and heal.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognise trigger that set off emotional dysregulation.
  • Understand the link to attachment styles and relationship difficulties.
  • Learn tools to heal the cycle of destructive relationships.

Who Should Attend the workshop?

  • Supervisors in clinical practice
  • Team leaders in clinical practice
  • Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Students in training in therapy
  • Social workers
  • Mentors and coaches.

Register today via Eventbrite

2019 IEFT Continuing Professional Development Timetable