Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

by Sue Johnson

In this excerpt from her most recent book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships, EFT founder Sue Johnson offers tools for couples and their therapists to repair wounded bonds and navigate the cycles of disconnection and reconnection that can make—or break—relationships.

Editor's Note: The following is adapted from Sue Johnson's latest book, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships (Little, Brown and Company, 2013).


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The Rhythm of Disconnection and Reconnection

A love relationship is never static; it ebbs and flows. If we want love to last, we have to grasp this fact and get used to paying attention to and readjusting our level of emotional engagement.

“I just assumed that once you are married, you both know you are partners and you can kind of relax and take the relationship for granted,” Jeremy tells Harriet. “You can focus on the big picture. You know I love you. We aren’t mean to each other. I haven’t been unfaithful to you or anything like that. Can’t you just roll with the less romantic, less touchy-feely times?” Harriet sits up straight in her chair and declares, “No, Jeremy. I can’t. Not anymore.”
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Copyright © 2013 Little, Brown and Company. Excerpt reprinted with permission.
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Sue Johnson

Dr. Sue Johnson is one of the originators and the main proponent of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), now one of the best validated couples interventions in North America. She is Director of the Ottawa (Canada) Couple and Family Institute and the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy as well as Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa and Research Professor at Alliant University in San Diego, California.

She has received numerous honors for her work, including the Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Couple and Family Therapy Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Research in Family Therapy Award from the American Family Therapy Academy. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1984. She is a registered psychologist in the province of Ontario, Canada, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy and the Journal of Family Psychology. She is a Research Professor in the Marital & Family Therapy Program at Alliant University in San Diego.

Her 2004 book (2nd Ed), The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy: Creating Connection (Brunner Rouledge) is a foundational text on EFT for couples. She is the senior editor of the 2003 book, Attachment Processes in Couples Therapy (Guilford Press), and the 1994 book, The Heart of the Matter (Guilford Press). She has also written a book on trauma and couples, Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors (2002).

She trains counselors in EFT worldwide and consults to Veterans Affairs, the U.S. and Canadian military and New York City Fire Department. Sue is an Approved Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and is internationally known for her workshops and presentations on practice, theory and research in couple therapy, adult attachment and emotion in psychotherapy. She maintains a private practice and lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and two children.

To contact Dr. Johnson and learn more about her work, visit her website and The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.

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CE credits: 1
Learning objectives:

  • Describe the relationship between attachment theory and EFT.
  • Differentiate healthy and normal levels of misattunement from more harmful and corrosive misattunement.
  • Illustrate the elements of a secure bond.
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