Written by Dr. Sue Johnson of the University of Ottawa, Hold Me Tight explains how to use Emotion-Focused Therapy in the context of romantic relationships.
Focusing on our emotions means- instead of avoiding difficult emotions that we fear could cause us pain or bring about conflict- we embrace them as essential knowledge that can build stronger, longer-lasting, more highly connected relationships that move us closer to ourselves and to each other.
In couples counseling, we often focus on effective communication skills and conflict resolution, under the assumption that each partner is independent and responsible for his or her own experience within the relationship. However, attachment theory explains otherwise. It tells us that our intimate relationships highlight a primal survival instinct within each of us. Our physical health, as well as our mental and emotional health, are dependent on maintaining a stable, secure attachment to our partner; a similar attachment as we had to our parents when we were children.
Our secure attachment to someone who cares for us, and whom we care for, is what helps guarantee our very survival.
Hold Me Tight explains the dynamics that exist in relationships when our connection to our partner is strained or threatened, the resulting behaviors that ensue (such as avoidance or anxious pursuit), and the conundrum we find ourselves in as a result. Instead of writing off our relationship as damaged, broken, or never right from the start, this book provides the insight to explain why, instead, our experience is a result of our evolutionary wiring–and how to intervene, address it, and find peace…(similar to the tools and skills you will learn while in couples therapy!)
ALSO READ: Getting The Love You Want Book Review