Breaking the Code of Romantic Love
by Sue Johnson
Over the last 30 years, Dr. Sue Johnson and her colleagues have “cracked the code" of romantic love through the development of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). By watching this video, couples will to learn to improve their relationships and therapists will find useful ideas and training techniques.
Whether you are a couple looking to improve your relationship or a therapist training other therapists to work with couples, Dr. Johnson’s message and techniques will provide valuable tools for change. And her message is very clear and direct: everything we need to know about relationships, we learned in childhood. Drawing upon research into the sciences of attachment and bonding and in very clear language, she provides concrete strategies to help strengthen relationships by enhancing safety, security and connection.

Instead of focusing on fleeting issues that drive problems in relationships, she shows how the principles of EFT can help couples to more effectively express, process and reciprocate emotions. Feeling heard and hearing each other is the key to relationship survival. Dr. Johnson teaches us to build on these simple yet powerful ideas to increase relationship satisfaction and the effectiveness of couples therapy.

For Dr. Johnson, the enemy of love is not conflict, but distance and emotional disconnection. She imparts useful strategies and techniques for safely lessening distance, increasing partner responsiveness and strengthening intimacy. Real-life examples from her work help us to replace old notions about relationship traps. In their place, couples and clinicians will learn about the specific stages and methods for building or rebuilding healthy and rewarding ties. 

What therapists are saying…

"In this intimate and ultimately hopeful conversation with Dr. Sue Johnson, we learn what is at the heart of both angry conflict and stony withdrawal among couples. Whether viewed by distressed couples or by the therapists who work with them – even those who may already be quite familiar with EFT and the attachment perspective on romantic love – this video powerfully illuminates the universal fears and longings behind couples’ conflicts. With her customary warmth and accessibility, Johnson reminds us of our essential nature as bonding animals, and conveys how the science of bonding allows us to 'crack the code' of adult love and all its challenges."

-- Molly Millwood, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Saint Michael's College
“This video is helpful for anyone working with couples. Dr. Johnson highlights the importance of emotional responsiveness as it relates to lasting relationships. She connects how emotional responsiveness and sexual attraction are related to the couple's bonding as each person has a need for closeness.”

--Ashley Cosentino EdD, Assistant Professor Counseling Department, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
“This video is useful for professors and supervisors of couples and family counseling students. Sue Johnson explains the essential aspects of human bonding needed for relationship satisfaction. Couples and families struggle to communicate their emotional needs, and this video will help them understand how to enjoy the melody of their relational dance.”

--Carlos M. Del Rio, PhD, Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Program, Bellevue University
“This video provides valuable insight into the science behind love and intimate relationship success. Using illustrative analogies, real-world examples, and practical tips for working through sensitive issues, Dr. Johnson describes a process that anyone navigating personal relationship challenges or working with clients who are can easily practice. For counselor educators teaching Couples & Family Therapy, Human Sexuality, or any other course exploring the nuances of relationship work, this video is a must!”

--Brittany L. Pollard, PhD, Assistant Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Department of Counseling
"Dance! Dance! Dance! A powerful metaphor used by Sue Johnson in this video that will help counselors choreograph the therapeutic session with couples to improve satisfaction within their relationship. Get your dancing shoes on and watch this video to enlighten your clients and spark a footloose movement in your relationship!"

--Wayne Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education, University of Houston, Victoria
In Depth
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Dr. Johnson passionately asserts that we are members of Homo Vinculum, the mammals that bond. Relationships are not about hook-ups and flashy first dates that may or may not lead to happy ever-afters. She is not interested in a cookbook approach to relationships. It is not stress, fights and differences that destroy the “dance” of relationship. Instead, it is “demon dialogue” leading to endless cycles of hurt and disconnection. She will help you replace this destructive narrative and limited interventions with a deeply felt sense of accessibility, responsiveness and engagement.

Historically, couples, and the professionals who have tried to help them, have faltered under the assumption that love is a mysterious mixture of sexuality, friendship, shared values and common interests. Self-help strategies and couples therapy have offered limited solutions. Re-conceptualizing intimacy as an ancient, wired-in survival code, EFT and its Hold Me Tight curriculum will equip viewers with the means for re-wiring the brain and along with it, our relationships.

By watching this interview, you will:
  1. appreciate that adult love is rooted in the basic biological processes of bonding and attachment
  2. acquire skills to intervene more effectively with couples by focusing on their shared emotional dance
  3. identify relationship traps to close emotional distance and strengthen connection and intimacy  

Length of video: 1:12:13

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in All Regions

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-549-1

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-549-6

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: 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize that adult love is rooted in the basic biological processes of bonding and attachment
  • Acquire skills to intervene more effectively with couples by focusing on their shared emotional dance
  • Identify relationship traps to close emotional distance and strengthen connection and intimacy
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