This Attachment Injury Repair Training Program designed by Lillian Buchanan and Lorrie Brubacher gives you an opportunity to observe and then personally interact with the interventions and 8 steps of the Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Attachment Injury Repair Model (AIRM) developed by Johnson, Makinen & Millikin (2001). The interactive training program is built on this model and gives you an opportunity to identify and practice the markers of readiness for this repair process, and the steps and interventions through the entire process. Brief video clips illustrate the moment to moment process through each step of the model. Between each clip are descriptions of the therapist’s intentions in each step of the model. You are given opportunities to identify the interventions used, after which you receive immediate feedback about the intervention the therapist was using. A variety of modalities of learning experiences are interspersed throughout.

This self-study program is ideal for a peer or supervisor-led group and can also be used for individual self-study. The interactive training program is approximately 4 to 6 hours, depending on how long the user wishes to engage with it. It can be used flexibly at your own pace or extended for group learning. The Individual streaming package includes the training program only. The Individual Download Package and the Group/Institutional Download Package also include the video of the entire 67 minute consultation session and a complete transcript of the session.


CE quizzes can be purchased after logging into your account. If you purchase the Individual Download Package (for $120.00) you can then purchase a CE quiz for 6 NBCC hours for $30. If you purchase the Individual Streaming Package, without the entire session and transcript (for $90.00) you can purchase a CE quiz for 3 NBCC hours for $25. Participants of a study group who have viewed the training program and entire session are also eligible to purchase the 6 hour CE quiz. Purchasers of the group/institutional package can get a link to share with group study participants to access the quiz from

How can you identify if there is an attachment injury?
Walk through an interactive process of discovering how to identify that there is an attachment injury blocking the couple’s connection. Watch brief video clips from 2 couples: As the partners describe their situations, you are given the task of identifying what elements of a relationship attachment injury are present.

How do you know if the couple is ready for attachment injury resolution?
You will see the different ways of working with a couple who is not ready for the attachment injury resolution process and another who is. Observe the couple who is not ready for the AIRM and see how the therapist tracks and validates the attachment injury in Stage One. Then, participate in a process of identifying if the other couple is sufficiently ready to go through the resolution process.

What is involved in preparing a couple to use the Attachment Injury Resolution Model?
Step inside the therapist’s head as you see her checking for markers that the couple is ready for this Stage Two process. The program pauses to let you find the markers the therapist is watching for:

• Is the couple sufficiently de-escalated?

• Is the offending partner sufficiently engaged to participate in the AIRM?

• Is the injured partner sufficiently engaged with her own experience in the moment?


How do I apply this to my own couples?
Exercises and role-plays help you apply this process to your own couples Ann Lumry, EFT Therapist and Supervisor, Minneapolis, MN, write: [It is] awesome! It brings the AIRM model alive with real couples and gives me (and my consultees, regardless of skill level) the chance to come back again and again to work toward mastering this resolution process. (don’t use here if it is used n home page)

Dr. Marlene Best, an EFT Trainer teaching a PhD couple therapy class Ottawa University, Canada writes: “It provided a great illustration of some of the steps of the AIRM. In particular I liked how gentle, validating, and tenacious you were Lorrie and my students especially commented on how fearless you were at going for the painful parts and not mincing your words. They thought that would be hard to do (they joined the cycle and wanted to protect the guy from further pain) but then got to see the benefits of staying with the pain and the reality of the impact of what he did. It's a great illustration of excellent EFT therapy!”

Background on the Featured Couple:
Jim and Connie (not their real names) have completed De-escalation, and Withdrawer Re-engagement with their ongoing therapist who has invited them for this consultation with EFT Therapist and Trainer Lorrie Brubacher. The couple began therapy having been united after a brief separation, during which time Jim had had an affair with Connie’s best friend.

The presenting therapist feels the couple is ready to begin the process of Blamer Softening. Given the information about the earlier attachment injury event, Lorrie feels it is important to attend to the attachment injury repair process.

Historically they were caught in a classic pursue/withdraw negative cycle with Connie reacting with anxious pursuit for Jim’s attention when he avoids discussing difficult topics and she feels left out, and Jim preferring to sweep things under the carpet rather than discuss them, and then ultimately they end up in a blow-up argument. Images for their positions: Jim would rather disappear and hide than to have a confrontation; Connie wants to rip the band aid off and attack problems directly. After typical arguments they would bring up the past and get caught in a seemingly endless loop of blaming one another: The cue for Connie’s pursuit is anything that suggests Jim is not focused on her, at which time her panic rises and her voice gets louder. The cue for Jim’s distress and automatic back away step is the loud tone of Connie’s voice, and then of course Jim’s withdrawal triggers Connie’s fear of “losing him again.”

As Jim says, “We tend to bury things a bit and we don’t talk about it and we don't bring things out into the open and discuss them … you know and face them when they come up … and Connie’s family is a lot more…’attack it when it comes up and get it done with and deal with it and get it over with instead of putting on a Band-Aid’ whereas my family and my personality is just to, you know, keep it locked up and, you know, which basically comes out as, you know, an explosion of emotion and stuff later on so.” And in turn, Connie says, “… I felt like I was always the one that was nagging him and bringing up this stuff.”

They are able now to stop their negative cycle when it begins to take over now, and are owning the positions they take in this cycle. Jim is stepping more and more into the relationship instead of disappearing. He feels much safer to engage. We begin the session tracking and reviewing the old cycle and how they are recognizing and being able to stop it and take new steps in the dance. When hints of Connie’s sadness and anxiety (excessive attempts to focus on the positive, while fighting back tears) emerge while tracking their present experience, Lorrie uses lots of reflections and evocative responses to attend to the experience that the attachment injury has not yet been resolved.

The AIRM Interactive Training Program illustrates the steps of heightening emotional responses and shaping and processing enactments through-out the eight steps of repairing the lingering pain of the attachment injury.


Learning Objectives

After going thru this program, the learner will be able to:

  1. Clearly define what an “Attachment Injury” is.

  2. Identify markers of relationship injuries that block a couple from creating a safe connection.

  3. Outline the negative cycle that continues to play out between the couple in the face of the unresolved injury.

  4. Identify markers that a couple has de-escalated sufficiently that they are ready for the steps of the attachment injury (forgiveness) process.

  5. Identify markers that a withdrawn partner has re-engaged emotionally so that he or she is able to stay engaged through the forgiveness process.

  6. Deepen partners’ emotion in order to help the injured partner access the core of her/his pain and help the offending partner to access emotionally engaged empathy.

  7. Facilitate engaged enactments between partners that can restructure the bond into a safe haven which serves as the antidote to the injury.

  8. Apply the tasks and interventions of each step in the process for resolving attachment injuries.


The program creators:
Dr. Lillian Buchanan and Lorrie Brubacher M. Ed. are co-creators of this training program. They have both been practicing therapy since 1989 and are both certified by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) as EFT therapists and supervisors.


Lillian Buchanan, Ph.D., LMHC, is a Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor who practices in Bellevue, Washington. For more information see


Lorrie Brubacher, M. Ed., LMFT (NC) and RMFT (Canada) is founding director of the Carolina Center for EFT – and adjunct faculty in Counseling and Educational Development at UNC Greensboro, NC. She is an EFT trainer, certified with the International Centre for Excellence in EFT (ICEEFT). She practices therapy, provides EFT training primarily in Winnipeg, Canada and NC and has co-authored several EFT publications with Dr. Sue Johnson.