Brandis McFarland logo.png


Supporting Your Loved One with Advanced Caregiving, Based on Principals and Techniques of Emotion Focused Family Therapy


DESCRIPTION: Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) is a treatment model designed to empower parents and caregivers to take on an active role in their loved one’s mental health and wellness and for clinicians to support caregivers become healing agents of change. In this session, attendees will learn how to use behavior coaching, emotion coaching and how to heal wounds through therapeutic apologies to improve outcomes for all involved.

OBJECTIVES: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. 1. Explain that EFFT is inspired by theories of attachment, emotion and neuroscience and supports the healing power of supportive parent-child interactions.

  2. 2. Describe that Caregivers DO NOT cause mental health issues and that through Emotion Coaching and Behavior Coaching they can bring about positive change.

  3. 3. Recognize how to work through Blocks which are attitudes or behaviors that can leave you feeling stuck or frustrated or out of touch with your instincts as caregivers and providers and learn how to heal wounds through therapeutic apologies.

Brandis McFarland 2 (1).jpg


Brandis McFarland MA, LMHC, CEDS

Brandis McFarland is a Masters Level, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist who has worked in private practice for 16 years treating Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorders.  Ms. McFarland graduated from Luther College in 1999 with degrees in Biology and Psychology.  She received her Masters degree from the University of Iowa in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counseling in 2002.

Therapeutic modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Enhanced, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Family-Based Treatment, and Emotion Focused Family Therapy. In addition to individual, family, and group therapy, Ms. McFarland leads Advanced Care Giver Training Workshops.

Ms. McFarland is passionate about working within the community to provide Eating Disorder and Body Image awareness and prevention programs for schools, colleges and professionals.  She has been actively doing this since 2002.  She has worked with the Health Transition Clinic through PCI to provide group education about the mental health conditions associated with binge eating.  Ms. McFarland is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, has completed advanced certification in Emotion Focused Family Therapy and core training in Family Based Treatment. She has served as a volunteer for the Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa. Other professional memberships and experience include working as an Adjunct Professor at Mt. Mercy University, serving on the advisory board for Mt. Mercy College for graduate programs in Marriage and Family Counseling, and working as a member of the Unity Point Family and Patient Advisory Board.