Wednesday, February 20, 2019

HOLD ME TIGHT

The message of EFT is simple: Forget about learning how to argue better, analyzing your early childhood, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, recognize and admit that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection. Adult attachments may be more reciprocal and less centered on physical contact, but the nature of the emotional bond is the same. EFT focuses on creating and strengthening this emotional bond between partners by identifying and transforming the key moments that foster an adult loving relationship: being open, attuned, and responsive to each other.

Today EFT is revolutionizing couple therapy. Rigorous studies during the past fifteen years have shown that 70 to 75 percent of couples who go through EFT recover from distress and are happy in their relationships. The results appear lasting, even with couples who are at high risk for divorce. EFT has been recognized by the American Psychological Association as an empirically proven form of couple therapy.

There are thousands of EFT-trained therapists in North America and hundreds more in Europe, England, Australia, and New Zealand. EFT is being taught in China, Taiwan, and Korea. More recently, major organizations, including the U.S. and Canadian military and the New York City Fire Department, have sought my help in introducing EFT to distressed members and their partners.

EFT's ever-broadening acceptance and application has also brought growing awareness of this approach to the public. Increasingly, I have been besieged by pleas for a simple, popular version of EFT, one ordinary folks can read and apply on their own. Here it is.

Hold Me Tight is designed to be used by all couples, young, old, married, engaged, cohabiting, happy, distressed, straight, gay; in short, all partners seeking a lifetime of love. It is for women and for men. It is for people from all walks of life and all cultures; everyone on this planet has the same basic need for connection. It is not for people who are in abusive or violent relationships, nor for those with serious addictions or in long-term affairs; such activities undermine the ability to positively engage with partners. In those instances, a therapist is the best resource.

I've divided the book into three parts. Part One answers the age-old question of what love is. It explains how we often slip into disconnection and lose our love, in spite of the best intentions and the greatest insights. It also documents and synthesizes the massive explosion of recent research into close relationships. As Howard Markman of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver says, "This is moon shot time for couple therapy and education."

We are, at last, building a science of intimate relationships. We are mapping out how our conversations and actions reflect our deepest needs and fears and build or tear down our most precious connections with others. This book offers lovers a new world, a new understanding of how to love and love well.

Part Two is the streamlined version of EFT. It presents seven conversations that capture the defining moments in a love relationship, and it instructs you, the reader, on how to shape these moments to create a secure and lasting bond. Case histories and Play and Practice sections in each conversation bring the lessons of EFT alive in your own relationships.

Part Three addresses the power of love. Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.

To help you through the book, I've included a glossary of important terms at the end.

I owe the development of EFT to all the couples I've seen over the years, and I make liberal use of their stories, disguising names and details to protect privacy, throughout this book. All stories are composites of many cases and are simplified to reflect the general truths I have learned from the thousands of couples I have seen. They will teach you as they taught me. This book is my attempt to pass that knowledge on.

I started seeing couples in the early 1980s. Twenty-five years later, it amazes me that I still feel passionately excited when I get down in a room to work with a couple. I still get exhilarated when partners suddenly understand one another's heartfelt messages and risk reaching out to each other. Their struggle and determination daily enlightens me and inspires me to keep my own precious connection with others alive.

We all live out the drama of connection and disconnection. Now we can do it with understanding. I hope this book will help you turn your relationship into a glorious adventure. The journey outlined in these passages has been just that for me.

"Love is everything it's cracked up to be..." Erica Jong has written. "It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, your risk is even greater." I couldn't agree more.
I started reading Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson today. Your only takeaway from this should be that if you are interested in dating me, whoever you are, you should also be reading it, because from this point on, I will only date anyone who has read this book.