Hold me Tight with Dr. Sue Johnson

Dr. Sue Johnson is profoundly known for her work on bonding, attachment and adult romantic relationships. She paved the way for much of the work being done now on attachment and intimacy, focused couples therapy, and her work changed the landscape of emotions based therapy. Today, she talks with Rob about EFT, Emotionally Focused Therapy, her best-selling book Hold Me Tight, and why EFT gives people hope, validation, and the connection necessary to heal themselves and possibly their wounded relationships.   TAKEAWAYS: [3:04] Sue got a firsthand look at adult interaction as a young child working in her family’s pub. Through witnessing the many people night after night, she saw the power in vulnerability and compassion. This fascinated her and led her to work with distressed individuals, and ultimately distressed couples. [7:05] In a distressed couple, the conflict is just a symptom of the real problem — disconnection. [9:11] Much disconnection comes from one person pushing to be heard and the other partner shutting them out. Dr. Sue works with couples to move from the dance of automatic anger into vulnerability. [12:45] EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy, helps individuals and couples look at where they may be stuck in their emotions, fears and needs and then introduces the feeling of love and safety. Through this, bonding occurs and partners have what Dr. Sue refers to as “hold me tight” conversations. [14:05] When therapists first ask how a couple fell in love in therapy, it helps them remember that there once was a connection and may diffuse some of the initial anger. [18:57] EFT first gives people hope, then validation for feeling wounded. Their partner has to understand how their actions caused so much pain, and why their wounded partner now needs safety and predictability. [22:28] After a betrayal when the wounded partner is doing “detective work” they are usually not looking for a reason to leave, they are looking for a reason to stay. [27:03] Technology can drive us apart, or it can call for us to be more committed than ever to human connection. [29:01] Dr. Sue follows the Pro-dependence model, and knew there was something more than the codependence model after working in many clinics and large hospitals. [30:18] Dr. Sue’s work encourages people to get addicted to the natural good feelings that come when we reach out to others as a resource, and experience authentic connection. [33:31] The more we feel connected, the less we turn to behaviors that are addictive and destructive.   RESOURCES: Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency Rob@sexandrelationshiphealing.com John Gottman Hold Me Tight Hold Me Tight Dr. Sue Johnson https://iceeft.com/   QUOTES: “We are all human beings that need closeness, connection and reassurance.” “You need to help your partner feel safe when you’ve wounded them.” “We need to help people connect. When they feel connected they don’t need to turn to addictions.” “Betrayed partners that do detective work aren’t usually looking for a reason to leave, they are looking for a reason to stay.”

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