Hold Me Tight | Better Marriages | Educating Couples - Building Relationships

Hold Me Tight

hold me tightHold Me Tight

By Dr. Sue Johnson (Little, Brown & Company, 2008)

Reviewed by Jerry and Kim Mantooth, Leader Couple, Maryville, TN


Based on years of research and practice, Sue Johnson has written an easy to understand and practical guide to couple therapy based on the importance of emotional attachment. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) focuses on seven conversations that encourage a level of emotional responsiveness critical to growing and lasting relationships. The three main components are:

  1. Accessibility:  Can I reach you?
  2. Responsiveness:  Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally?
  3. Engagement:  Do I know you will value me and stay close?

These components are the foundation to the success of the conversations in the therapy process.  The seven conversations focus on destructive dialogue patterns, identifying emotional “raw spots,” revisiting rocky moments, communicating your needs, forgiving injuries, bonding through sex and touch and keeping love alive.

Hold Me Tight  is an excellent resource for couples trying to work things out on their own. It provides a clear guideline for repairing hurt and restoring connection. Her stories are engaging and provide practical illustrations of how the techniques work. “Play and Practice” sections in each conversation provide a step-by-step guide for couple dialogue. Dr. Johnson recommends that couples in abusive relationships, those with serious addictions or in long-term affairs should seek the help of a therapist rather than relying on this book alone.

Better Marriages readers will easily identify the principles of couple dialogue, speaking for self and listening for understanding. We found the book to be helpful in our relationship as well as giving us a tool to place in the hands of couples who were not ready (or willing) to seek the help of a therapist.