The first workshop – Milan November 4 and 5, 2023“Emotion is the music of attachment dance. To create change in a relationship, the fastest and most
direct way is to change its music and actively evoke the emotions that elicit caring, compassion and
So says Sue Johnson, the extraordinary person who as an author, clinical psychologist, researcher,
lecturer, and international speaker has managed to innovate psychotherapy by bringing
attachment theory and emotions to the center of couples therapy, and then individual and family
Thanks to her research and publications, we know that when “we do not deal with emotions, we
lose a crucial part of the context of intimate relationships.”
It can happen to us as human beings, every day, and so it can also happen to us as therapists.
Sometimes the emotions we are called to experience and see in those who come to us scare us. In
some cases they are too strong, too intense, so much so that they scare us, overwhelm us, even
We come to feel helpless and crushed.
We who are the very ones who are the therapists
But if we have chosen this path and this precise mission, we know that we can learn to tolerate what we feel, even when it makes us uncomfortable.
Having chosen this road and this precise mission, it is good to know that we can learn to navigate
this sometimes stormy sea, learning to tolerate what we hear, welcoming it, and trying to understand what we hear, where it comes from, and where it can take us in being better therapists, even when it makes us uncomfortable.
Knowledge is not enough: we need wisdom.
We know that we can learn to embrace what we experience, to embrace our frustration, our
helplessness at times, our fear and embrace it to really connect with the people who have asked for
our help and who are often in so much pain that they don’t even expect to be able to receive it.
We know this because it is precisely because of Sue Johnson that we know the power of EFT,
Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Yet knowledge is not enough.
We need wisdom.
Knowledge is magnificent and always enriches us, but reading and studying is not enough for us to
really understand what we discover.
To really understand, we human beings need to touch.
To experience, firsthand.
To know with our hearts and every cell in our bodies.
It applies to everything, but more than anything, it applies to our emotions!
That’s why Giulia Altera and Jef Slootmaeckers, for the EFT Italy community and then who knows
for many other communities that will want to walk with them, have spent months designing an
immersive experience dedicated to therapists, and designed to learn how to trust emotion,
experiencing it on our skin.
Eye to eye.
Designing the workshop, we wanted an event that was above all engaging and very hands-on,
something that would allow our members to take home lots of tools to enhance EFT practice,
technique and sensitivity.
We worked on it for months, even changing the title a few days before the date: what appeared on
the posters as “Engaging Emotions,” became “The Wisdom of Emotions.”
Because it is true: emotions are wise.
Emotions are endowed with wisdom.
And wisdom is the condition of knowledge put into practice, that is, felt.
Just as I was able to feel the participation of the community that was in Milan, November 4 and 5,
2023: the 45 people who took part in the opening of the workshop together with me, my colleague
Jef Slootmaeckers, and Andrea Pagani, the other pillar of EFT Italy , who although not physically in
Milan is always with us.
In the first Italian date of the workshop, among visual stimuli, video clips, and suggestions from
clinical sessions, we saw the therapists of our community grow, expand, and immerse themselves
in their emotions and in the magic of the EFT therapeutic approach.
Hour after hour, throughout the two-day workshop, and actually even the day before during a very
intense, fully experiential clinical case supervision, we experienced together the entire process map
of the model that has already changed the lives of us and so many patients who have chosen us.
We were moved.
We felt so, so much pride watching the humanity of our extraordinary colleagues.
We cried and we laughed (to tears).
We used words, letting them come and welcoming them.
We gave free access to emotions, accommodated them, observed them and let them expand as far
as they needed to.
We put ourselves in the shoes of our couples trapped in painful dysfunctional cycles, firsthand,
voicing the position of the withdrawn, the pursuer, in the various stages of therapy.
We have listened to the needs of therapists, the needs and emotions of our clients toward therapist
In the various stages, in the various depths of reactive and vulnerable emotions.
We grew guided by our emotions as therapists and as people.
We have allowed ourselves to be touched.
Working with emotions is indeed something challenging, profound, and difficult, but how much
satisfaction and beauty can come from it!
And so it was our weekend!
To tell you how this first workshop went, I leave it to some of the people who experienced it!
This is like amazing super heroes teaming up. I’ll call you: the EFTengers.
“Greetings to all and sundry. It was great to participate, listen and be with you and our emotions. I run away but with a full “belly”. Thanks Jef and Giulia and good work ❤️
Thank you Jeff thank you Gulia, I too had to run, but I understood much better the work and the art of being there and the confidence of being able to do it💚
My feeling is that I came in with a four-speed car and came out with a new car, same model but with five gears.
Very nice what you create together, I know the infusion is continuing and I will feel it sitting with
the first couple of the week
Thank you Giulia and Jef, congruent transparent and validating trainers ❤️
I immediately thought of you ❤️
Grateful to have seen you again
To have met new colleagues
And to have shared a piece of life again with you.
I hug you tightly
Thank you all and everyone for the beautiful journey going through all the emotional nuances🌷
Good morning to each and every one of you! How are you all? After yesterday’s workshop I bring
with me the feeling of nourishment mixed with tiredness that these days leave behind. But I also
bring with me new awarenesses not only professional but also human. To do less…to do
A mantra that has been ringing in my head since yesterday. And then that beautiful
metaphor of the emotional rapid infusion drip that yes, let’s do it to patients but let’s do it to each
other. Let’s remind ourselves and each other of the importance of every effort. And let us
remember some indulgence toward ourselves. A caress let’s reserve it for ourselves.🤗Have a
good week! a hug
As always spectacular… grazie❤️”
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