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Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships Paperback – 3 Feb 2011
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A much needed message to all couples and therapists and I recommend it to all (Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT)
The best couple therapist in the world...Dr Johnson's superb science, humor, and clinical wisdom are finally accessible to all of us. I couldn't pick a smarter, warmer, and more real guide for this journey (John Gottman, Ph.D., bestselling author of THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING MARRIAGE WORK)
A truly revolutionary, breakthrough book...the most important, valuable book for couples published in the 21st century (Barry McCarthy, Ph.D., author of GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME)
Sue Johnson [is] the most original contributor to couples therapy to come along in the last 30 years...An instant classic (William J. Doherty, Ph.D., author of TAKE BACK YOUR MARRIAGE)
The developer of the most successful approach to building loving relationships - Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) - shares her groundbreaking programme, which any couple can use to create a stronger, more secure bond.See all Product description
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I learned a lot about relationships and a huge amount about myself from this book. It is head and shoulders above anything else I have read. It is not really a self help book. It is more of a mirror that reveals a lot that you were mildly aware of but perhaps didn’t understand or see nearly clearly enough. Understanding that feelings and doubts you experience are normal and in fact common is really helpful. To be honest there were times when I felt that the author could see into my soul! It is worth it for that alone. It is a fairly unusual experience.
Did I learn anything of use from this book?. Hell yes! Would I recommend it? Without hesitation. Were there emotional connections throughout the book. Yes- impossible not to experience that I would think.
Bottom line- if you think from the description of the book that it sounds interesting just buy it. You won't be disappointed.
Finally - just in case you are a male wondering if this is a book for females- it is not - I am a man past my prime!
Dr Johnson starts with the science of love and intimacy, referring to evidence that people who are in loving relationships have lower stress hormones and more resilient immune responses and are less at risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. She writes, " Contact with a loving partner literally acts as a buffer against shock, stress and pain. The people we love...are the hidden regulators of our bodily processes and our emotional lives" (pg 25). Lovingly secure relationships are vital to our health. At the heart of our well-being is an adult attachment need for loving connections akin to a child's attachment need. Our attachment need is fundamental to our psycho-physiological nature; we are social creatures.
Dr Johnson focuses on first helping you to evaluate and become aware of the dances or patterns that maintain hurt between couples. She then supports your becoming curious and compassionate about your "raw spots" or "emotionally vulnerable" parts. Our vulnerable raw spots are the flashpoints that trigger irrational rows and deadening distance in our relationships. Getting to know our own and our partner's raw spots is the starting point for building a strong relationship. In awareness and compassion for our own and our partner's vulnerability, lies the building blocks of our strength.
Dr Johnson leads you through various chapters on building love and closeness in various facets of your relationships, both emotional and sexual. She presents the process of learning about each other and growing together as a series of conversations suggesting that change can be ordinary and do-able, like a conversation, if you give it time.
For some couples there may be an additional complication to overcome, namely the consequences of trauma. Dr Johnson dedicates a chapter to this, to help couples consider the additional challenges that healing from trauma brings.
This book will offer vital sound advise and knowledge, but the trouble with all self-help is how to apply it to yourself and your relationships. Whilst Dr Johnson's readable and touching style goes a long way, for some this may be easier than others. What Dr Johnson highlights in this work however, is that healing and thriving happens through relationships. If you are struggling to apply the ideas in the book, it may be worth considering the caring support and professional guidance that a professional relationship with a trained therapist/psychologist can offer to you and/or your partner.
I haven’t found it brilliant but neither is it terrible. At the end of most chapters there is a ‘practice’ section where she suggests questions you can think about and discuss together. I found some of them a bit weird but generally discussing the chapters together led to some useful conversations. I think it helped us to start talking about things more openly. The book talks a lot about how emotional closeness is paramount and makes suggestions about how to develop that within a relationship. I also found the chapter on forgiving and dealing with previous hurt in the relationship useful.