Premarital and Couples: “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

View all posts from Chandrama Anderson

Premarital and Couples: “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson

Uploaded: Aug 21, 2020
Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is closely aligned with my training in couples counseling. Sue provides a well-researched theoretical framework to understand the science and art of love and our needs in relationship — Attachment Theory.

John Bowlby first coined the term Attachment Theory as “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings” (Bowlby, 1969, p. 194). Mary Ainsworth created a study called “The Strange Situation” that illustrated and help distinguish the types of attachment bonds between a mother and her child. You can take a look on You Tube. Notice how the baby reacts to mom when she returns to the room. Either a baby is quickly soothed (secure attachment), or a baby turns away (anxious attachment), or a baby completely flops over (so sad, indicating a lack of attachment either through neglect or worse).

Over the years, a great deal more research has added to this body of knowledge on attachment.

The essential premise that relates to you as a couple is that the “secure bond” you needed as children with your primary caregiver is sought again with your partner. This is an evolutionary, biological drive for connection that affects your brain make-up (neural pathways). Fundamentally: Are you there for me? Do you have my back? Can I count on you?

I like Hold Me Tight because it provides a shared language for partners to:
• name the patterns that are at work between them
• understand what is going on between them at a deeper level
• go beyond “communication” skills to emotional connection

Filled with examples and exercises, Hold Me Tight is a fantastic resource for couples.

My only caution is this: The process is relatively simple; it is not easy, however. I’ve had clients report that they felt badly about themselves because Hold Me Tight made them question themselves: if it’s so simple, why is it actually so hard and exhausting?

Healing your attachment wounds means re-wiring your brain — creating new neural pathways. It takes time, feels unfamiliar along the way, and out of old habits or hurts you may crush the new green shoots before you even know it!

Let me know how it goes.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

After 10 years, Shalala Ramen to leave downtown Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 11,482 views

Thinking of moving? You're not alone.
By Sherry Listgarten | 22 comments | 6,384 views

Ballot propositions have problems
By Diana Diamond | 16 comments | 2,006 views

Changing Our Focus
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 901 views

Premarital and Couples: I’m not getting what I need. How can I get him/her to change?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 762 views