Answers to the most commonly asked questions about EA
Professionals training in EA include social workers, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, educators (and similar disciplines), and graduate and undergraduate students in training in any of these professions. Those in the fields of nutrition also have been trained. Any field in which there is work with children and/or families can use the system (research or practice)
While on rare occasions, professionals are accepted as a solo learner, there is a great deal of benefit to have an EA Community either in your organization or nearby. If you are a practitioner and have a hard-to-evaluate case, you can call on that professional for a “second opinion” and you might take a quick look at one another’s videos to have that valuable “second set of eyes”. If you are in research, however, being part of a group (group defined as at least 2 professionals) is a must, because you will need to check inter-rater reliability on your own sample. On occasion, you may have previously trained professionals in your facility and can plan on working with them for the inter-rater reliability, but such previously trained professionals need to have had refreshers. Please connect with us, as easy but good solutions can be worked out.
This is a question that comes up a great deal, likely because of our anxieties with test taking. The EA reliability test is different in that the goal is for you to make mistakes so that we can tackle them, correct them, so that you do not make those mistakes when you are coding your important videos. Sometimes those who have made the most mistakes have turned out to be the best evaluators! What is important is that you learn the system through this process, and then be able to do your inter-rater reliability on your own cases. It is the latter reliability that you will report in publications.
EA Basic will give you a foundation for your future work in this area, and you will be certified after your reliability test. Once you are certified, additional trainings are to enhance your EA evaluation abilities. You would not want to play the piano (in one small wrong way) with no feedback, lest you injure yourself. Similarly, you would not want to use a particular scale in the wrong way, when an updated 4.1 manual instructs to use it in an improved way.
It is important to use the most updated version of the system (that is, 4.1 edition manual published at the end of 2022, rather than ‘back in the day’ old versions such as 2nd or 3rd editions). These 2nd and 3rd editions should no longer be used and/or in publication write ups due to the substantial changes over time. For about 10-15 years, there were trainings to update professionals form 3rd edition to the 4th edition, but those have expired because if you are still using the 3rd edition (published in 1998) you have now gone almost 25 years without a refresher, and your coding (even if it yields some meaningful findings) is not based on what EA is today. The full 4th edition training is just 2 ½ days and if you are practiced in EA for so long, you should have no trouble with a reliability test. And, you may learn a few new things, as EA Users are typically the types of professionals who think deeply about adult-child relationships and their evaluations. I’m sure you would not want to play the piano, but with injury to the system or to yourself.
EA 4th edition manual and its authorized training is the most recent training, and will be the last. There will not be a 5th edition, for example. However, in teaching the 4th edition since 2008, much has been learned about the best way to transmit this information. After almost 15 years of taking notes on what professionals tend to have trouble with, Biringen has updated to the 4.1 manual, so that there is very crisp and clear hand holding. There are some clarifications within the scales as well as well as the introduction of the EA Zones (and EA Clinical Screener) to assess emotional attachment styles. Thus, it makes every sense to use the updated version and the first refresher to be done should be to get the 4.1 manual and do a self-study, as the changes are made in yellow highlight so that previously trained professionals can do this self study. You can order one for each person in your research lab, facility, or practice if they have been previously certified. Please show proof of your certification or provide exact date.
Many research labs as well as practice agencies have – on their own—seen the value of observing (and evaluating) additional cases as a way to master the system. Many practice agencies have uploaded videos of their own cases so that we could evaluate them and check their evaluations. Over time, their understanding and use of the system has deepened. This is Level II.
Similarly, researchers have also asked us to code additional cases from their samples so that they could have a more clear translation from EA Basic to their own cases. This is also Level II.
More recently, teams have asked about their sharing of videos, without detailed coding by us or them, but discussing of what is viewed and rough lining up of our codes. This is Community of Research or Community of Practice, and is a wonderful way to continue honing one’s observational skills, which form the basis for the coding. We think this is a wonderful way to grow one’s skill by being exposed to more cases, which can come from you or me.
It is important to: 1) upgrade to the 4.1 manual AND 2) have at least one form of consult with us after you have been originally certified, so that any (and maybe all) issues of using the system correctly are addressed. For example, EA users (certified) a long time ago might not be familiar with the EA zones (or clinical screener), since this is available only after 2015 and can obtain that during such a consult or class. This part of the system helps us all to score the EA Scales more accurately as well. Alternatively, an EA User (certified) might not be differentiating detached vs. complicated interactions (because, perhaps they drifted on this over time. A one-time consult is needed so that the system is used in a valid way.
Over time, I’d like to have an authorized supervisor in each organization or research lab and the authorized supervisor would be in contact with emotionalavailability.com to make sure that they are using the system correctly and therefore able to supervise correctly. That is the intent and the goal. Someone who was trained many years ago and has been using the system is an ideal candidate for this role, but just with some additional calibration in becoming authorized to do this.
Unborn fetus to 17 years of age.
Really focus on the manual and training videos, and feel free to reach out. We’re here to help you become certified.
Yes, the course provides a very comprehensive look at the EA System, and because of this the Prenatal EA and Middle Childhood/Youth build upon it.
Parents’ resources will grow and will be listed under the ‘parents’ section. But, we also recommend attending an EA Brief class; check for dates/registration.
Many people have a preference for one or the other, e.g., that virtual/online or the in-person/live. One positive of the virtual/online, which actually is hybrid since we have at least one live, interactive, zoom meeting, is that you are able to view and review videotapes at your own pace. A second positive is that it is also convenient and does not require travel, time off from work, and so on. One positive of the in-person context is you are able to ask questions as they occur to you.
There is not a difference in the learning outcomes, however. Most people who train through the online format and most who train through the in-person format achieve certification. One reason for this is we want you to be certified and work with you.
Yes, Biringen conducted 1-2 in different parts of the world prior to the pandemic. These will resume, but we need some time to put together.
Researchers need to attend an authorized training and be certified. Additionally, recertification is needed—EA training is not forever. Recalibration is needed at least 1 time after you have been certified, especially if it has been more than a couple of years. So, if you have put it off due to the pandemic or other reasons, now is a great time to connect with us on this. There are some very easy, yet useful ways to get to that higher level. Researchers should not be altering the EA System without prior permission and an author on a paper should be EA certified so that s/he can guide the writing about it. See EA Basic section for what should be reported in a publication.
Researchers need to attend an authorized training and be certified. Same as for researchers, except that practitioners are making important decisions on a daily basis, and the gravity of their decisions suggests that ongoing consultations would be of great use. Building that into one’s professional work is recommended. Just going through EA Basic does not provide the depth that ongoing consultations can provide—this can be done as a whole agency to decrease time and cost. 1 1/2 hr consultation once a year can go along way, especially if it is in a group setting.
Read one of the books
If you are in Colorado, Biringen may be able to provide that service or she will recommend someone who can. As a licensed psychologist, she practices only within Colorado. If you are outside of Colorado, she will recommend someone who is not a licensed psychologist but trained by her who can provide that service for you. This will be done virtually via zoom.
At this time, the dance program is only for those who are expecting and is part of a research study rather than a service.