Working With Complex Trauma in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

Working with (complex) trauma in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Welcome to the webinar for couples and family therapists, psychotherapists, and counsellors.

Workshop presenter: Gulya Diyarova, MD, EFT supervisor and therapist, director of EFT International School from UK London

“Trauma is not what happened to you, it is

 what happened inside you, at the traumatic event…”

Gabor Mate, MD

“Intimate relationships are the place where the pain of past traumas comes alive.”

K. Rheem, EFT therapist, supervisor, and trainer

(Early) complex and distressing childhood experiences, such as living in an abusive family, neglect and/or domestic violence; addictions and dependencies; mental health problems of caregivers; severe losses to which the child is exposed, etc., leave a deep imprint on the child’s psychosocial development and physical health – consequences that continue into adolescence and adulthood. The two most obvious areas affected by trauma are difficulties in regulating emotions and behaviours (e.g. anger, pain, sadness, shame) and difficulties in relationships (difficulties in attachment and bonding, difficulties in establishing emotional, physical, and sexual closeness, difficulties in trusting the other, etc.). The burden of traumatic experiences in childhood also results in frequent states of hyperarousal of the autonomic nervous system (fight, flight freeze, subjugation), a narrow window of tolerance, states of dissociation, alternating states of consciousness, and a fragmented sense of self – the story of the self is not coherent and integrated.

All these and many other consequences of exposure to trauma have an impact on the functioning of the individual in the couple relationship, including their sense of worth and entitlement to feel safe and secure in the couple relationship. This has the natural consequence that people who have been exposed to traumatic experiences in childhood or youth are more likely to have negative interaction cycles in their couple relationships.

This workshop will introduce some of the widely used definitions of trauma, developmental trauma, and complex PTSD, as well as the concept of adverse childhood experiences – particularly through the lens of attachment and subsequent dynamics in the couple relationship.

The lecturer will present how to integrate the skills of emotionally focused couples therapy and the skills of different trauma therapies in the context of working with traumatised couples: the basic three-phase model of trauma healing, according to dr. J. Herman; “working with the parts”, as understood by dr. R. Schwartz (Internal Family Systems Therapy) and dr. J. Fisher (Living Legacy of Trauma or Trauma-Informed Stabilisation Treatment); and a particularly important contribution to EFT therapy – “Working with the Echoes of Trauma” in EFT therapy, by EFT therapists, supervisors and trainers, dr. K. Rheem and dr. Leanne Cambell.

In this workshop, Gulya Diyarova will present knowledge and skills on how to help partners with trauma experience to build a more emotionally secure relationship, use their relational resources to create a sense of safety, develop capacities for self-regulation and co-regulation, and how to help them expand their window of tolerance and integrate new, more positive internal working models of self, other and the world. We will also watch video demonstrations of the skills with a specific couple and discuss examples from clinical practice.

Biography of the lecturer

Gulya Diyarova, Msc. Tavistock, UKCP, Acc. COSRT, MBACP, ICEEFT is a certified EFT therapist and supervisor, Director of EFT International School, Director of EFT Clinic, London UK.

Her first career in Moscow was in the medical profession, where she worked as a paediatrician and clinical neurologist. In 1993 she moved to the UK where she retrained as a psychotherapist – studying relational therapy, systemic therapy, psycho-dynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychosexual therapy and then EFT therapy.

Gulya has been a key figure in bringing EFT to the UK. Since 2009 she has been organising EFT training in London, in conjunction with ICEEFT (the international umbrella organisation for EFT therapy). She is a founding member of the British EFT Fellowship (BEFT), supervises EFT therapists, and runs EFT workshops and training courses. She is the founding director of the International EFT London School and of the EFT Clinic in London.

When the workshop will take place: Friday, 29th of March 2024, from 9.30 to 16.00 hours.

Where: on-line, Zoom

Language: English

A recording of the workshop will be made available to participants after the workshop.

Price of the workshop:

– €100 early registration (until 10th of March 2024)

– €120 regular registration


Institute VARNA BAZA

Mlinska pot 20

1231 Ljubljana Crnuce

Slovenia (EU)

Bank Account Number: SI56 6100 0001 2107 208

Information and registration: or mobile 00386 70 484 031 (Primoz),

Reservation of a place at the training is valid upon payment of the registration fee to the Bank Account Number.

You are kindly invited! 🙂


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