Sue Johnson on Discovering Hidden Moments of Connection
By Sue Johnson - If you’re going to help a couple get closer and learn to really dance together, whether in bed or anywhere else, the key is helping partners experience bonding moments that open them to becoming emotionally accessible to each other. If you can do that, their bodies will follow, and sex will almost always improve.
How to Help Couples Have "Hold Me Tight" Conversations
Susan Johnson, couples therapist and author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
, will be a keynote speaker at this year's Networker Symposium
. Here, she talks about how creating emotionally valuable experiences in therapy helps keep struggling couples engaged and better able to see their partner's point of view, and communicate better outside of therapy and in the bedroom.
Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?
When a client reports repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we're in survival mode.
Connecting with the Shut-down Client
Resonating with clients’ inner experience is key to working effectively with emotion in therapy. With traumatized and shutdown clients, however, it is easy to talk about, but extremely hard to do.
Susan Johnson on the Value of Using Emotion in Couples Work
Even strong emotions that are difficult to work with guide the therapy in the direction of what’s important. The key is knowing how to use them in a way that moves the therapy forward and leads to relationship repair.
Susan Johnson on Why Labeling Clients’ Emotions Isn’t Enough
Emotions can be tricky—once they enter the consulting room, it’s easy for both therapists and clients to become stuck in, overwhelmed by, and embattled with strong emotions.
Understanding the Foundations of Couples Conflict
And yet, I wondered, if we didn't have a theory of adult love and emotion, how could we truly understand what marriage was all about, let alone help couples make any real changes? Furthermore, even if we began to understand more about how love actually played out in marriage, what could we possibly do, as therapists, to bring it back into the process of therapy with troubled couples?
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