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Emotionally Focused Therapy with Same-Sex Couples
by Sue Johnson
The therapeutic needs of same-sex couples are given some long-overdue attention in this masterful video with EFT originator Dr. Sue Johnson, who offers fresh hope to a gay and a lesbian couple using her signature framework for repairing the partners’ emotional “dance.”
While therapeutic resources for heterosexual couples are plentiful, there’s very little available for therapists working with same sex couples. We are proud to offer this long-awaited video featuring one of the best and most popular couples therapists today, Dr. Sue Johnson, founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).

Tim and Andrew have come to therapy to understand why their 28-year relationship feels emotionally “bankrupt,” leaving them both feeling isolated and misunderstood. Janie and Kelly are looking for ways to de-escalate the tensions that have led Janie to “the precipice” of leaving their six-year partnership. After building a therapeutic foundation with a handful of EFT sessions, their respective therapists have enlisted Johnson for case consultation. You’ll be treated to both the case consultations as well as sessions with Johnson and each of the couples.

As Johnson builds a trusting alliance with each couple, watch her meticulously inquire into their dynamics, cyclical patterns, and emotional experiences. Calm and heartfelt, yet incisive, deliberate, and firm, she gently directs the couples into ever-deepening emotional communication using EFT techniques such as reframes, heightening, and enactments that emphasize attachment needs.

In addition to these EFT tools, you’ll discover how cultural conditions impact same-sex partnerships and the emotional processes EFT is so effective in uncovering. Johnson’s non defensive, self-disclosing style is not only clinically skillful, but beautiful to witness. Consultation sections, a panel discussion, and well-timed commentary supplement the two live sessions, providing deep insight into the couples’ needs and Johnson’s strategy.

If you’re looking to expand your skill with couples in general or same-sex couples in particular—or if you want an invaluable demonstration of EFT from the master herself—add this video to your library now!

What therapists are saying…

"A most valuable resource for work with all couples—especially those of the same sex. Sue Johnson demonstrates the effectiveness of EFT, while also validating the unique challenges faced by queer relationships—which are often minimized or completely overlooked. This video opens an inclusive conversation that will allow more LGBT people to name their need and desire for safe, loving bonds."

-- Mark O'Connell, LCSW, Author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other Nontraditional 21st Century Weddings
"An excellent introduction to EFT and a wonderful, close-up look at same-sex couples’ struggles for intimacy and joy. With an LGBTQ-affirmative approach, Sue Johnson illustrates the universal nature of attachment needs as she works compassionately with problems in a gay couple’s sexually open relationship and a lesbian couple’s growing estrangement. With this video, Dr. Johnson beautifully demonstrates why EFT is rising in prominence as a short-term form of couples’ treatment."

-- Philip Pierce, Ph.D., Lecturer at UCLA; private practice, Beverly Hills
"Attachment can be hard for straight couples, Johnson says, and building secure attachment for couples who grew up hearing that homosexuality was wrong can be even more difficult. Johnson ably demonstrates two of the three primary stages of EFT—deescalating conflict and restructuring the dance of conflict so that each partner can begin to meet the other’s attachment needs. The stages are the same whether the couple is heterosexual or same-sex, and it is illuminating to watch Johnson review the stages and then help clients reach [them]. This video is highly recommended."

-- Eugene Naughton, NCC, reviewed in The Professional Counselor
In Depth
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The underlying assumption in Emotionally Focused Therapy, says expert couples therapist Dr. Sue Johnson, is that vulnerable emotions, emotion regulation strategies, and attachment needs and fears are universal. In this illuminating new video, Johnson applies her groundbreaking therapeutic framework to the relationship difficulties of two same-sex couples, one gay and one lesbian.

Tim and Andrew, along with Jamie and Kelly, have participated in a handful of EFT sessions to understand their seemingly deep-seated conflicts and salvage their partnerships—or to decide once and for all if that’s even possible. In consultation with their respective therapists, Johnson enters the room for an extended session with each couple, where she masterfully helps deconstruct their relationship patterns, meticulously tracks each partner to reveal their core attachment messages, and employs direct communication tactics to guide them closer to the “safe haven” of a mutually satisfying bond. All this is done with a trusting working alliance and empathic attention to the issues same-sex couples face—which you’ll learn more about by watching Johnson’s unique panel discussion with three other EFT therapists.

If you’re looking to increase your skill with same-sex couples or gain deeper insight into the EFT model for partners of any sexual orientation, you’ll love this engaging and culturally important video.

By watching this video, you will:
  • Understand how the core attachment orientation of EFT fits with same-sex couples.
  • Learn to apply essential EFT interventions to these couples.
  • Deepen your knowledge of the particular issues same-sex partners face, and ways to adapt EFT to address these issues.

Length of video: 03:40:29

Number of Discs: 2

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in All Regions

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-382-0

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-383-9

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.

See all Sue Johnson videos.

CE credits: 3.5

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how the core attachment orientation of EFT fits with same-sex couples.
  • Learn to apply essential EFT interventions to these couples.
  • Deepen your knowledge of the particular issues same-sex partners face, and ways to adapt EFT to address these issues.
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