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Kathryn Rheem

Kathryn Rheem, EdD, LMFT,
Certified ICEEFT Trainer


Calming the Traumatized Brain & Heart: EFT with Trauma Couples
Saturday March 4, 2017
9:00 - 5:00       $170/$147 until 2/10      7 CE hours


A fundamental key to healing trauma is being able to seek comfort and protection from a loved one. But, for trauma survivors, that vulnerability is fraught with danger. Trauma is typically treated in individual therapy, yet great strides have been made in uniquely adapting couples therapy to play a vital role in the recovery of trauma survivors.

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) experientially demonstrates how attachment insecurity actively perpetuates the long-term effects of trauma and reverberates in the couple’s current distress. In working interpersonally, partners, rather than the therapist, can ultimately become each other’s best resource for resilience.

Since the emotional dysregulation of trauma scrambles communication and amplifies distress between partners, distilling and sharing partners’ intrapsychic experience facilitates bonding. In this workshop, the importance of the clinician’s ability to evoke and respond to clients’ moment-to-moment experiences will be highlighted, including:

  1. Supporting the trauma survivor in cultivating courage to reach for comfort
  2. Managing the tension between fears and longings
  3. Detailing how to re-process traumatic events with the partner present
  4. Anticipating how to respond to triggers outside of therapy
Through teaching, extensive video of actual cases, and experiential learning, you’ll see how to use voice, reflection, and deepening interventions to help partners make safe contact with each other and begin to counteract the blocks to intimacy.


In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Re-process the emotional echoes of trauma & how they block connection
  • Create the elements of safety needed to do deep emotional work
  • Engage the partner to know how best to be responsive to the trauma survivor
  • Practice using prosodic voice tone to send signal of safety to clients
  • Evoke & amplify the client’s intrapsychic experience

Kathryn Rheem is the Director of the Washington Baltimore Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, where she also has a private practice. She works with couples where one or both partners has endured trauma and has presented on doing couples therapy with trauma at numerous conferences. A clinical fellow and approved Supervisor of AAMFT, she has written many articles/chapters on the application of EFT to trauma survivors. Kathryn, along with Dr. Sue Johnson, was a cofounder of Strong Bonds, Strong Couples, a successful program for soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their partners.