I know I briefly mentioned this text in a previous post on couples communication, but wanted to dedicate an entire blog post to the book Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson. Any psychology buffs reading this may know Dr. Johnson as the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which has proven to be incredibly ground breaking work in the field of couples counseling. For those of you who are not as familiar with her work, EFT, in its very basic form, is a type of couples therapy that views emotions themselves as having an innately adaptive quality that, if utilized properly, can help people alter problematic emotional states that show up in their relationships. It maintains that emotions themselves do not inhibit the therapeutic process, but rather people’s struggle to manage emotions and use them effectively is regarded as the ultimate challenge.
Emotions are bound to our most fundamental needs. They instantaneously alert us to situations vital to our prosperity. They also awaken us in these important situations to take action towards meeting our needs. Couples participating in EFT are supported in better identifying, experiencing, exploring, making sense of, transforming, and sensitively managing their emotional experiences in their relationship.
Hold Me Tight is by far my go-to recommendation for many couples I work with. It does a fantastic job of illustrating how both parties can work on clearing the lines of communication, help resolve long-standing challenges in the relationship, and provide some useful information on how to maintain a healthy relationship all in a very approachable way.