The Society of Clinical Psychology, Division 12 of the American Psychological Association, Awarded Emotionally Focused Therapy its Highest Rating for Best Research Evidence Based on 1998 Criteria.

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The ultimate goal of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy is to create a secure bond between partners and a safe haven within the relationship. Dr Sue Johnson has defined this concept and described how to get it in her books Love Sense and Hug Me Tight. These two books describe Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy for the public.

Why is it important for couples to establish a secure bond/safe haven? First of all, doing so enables partners to go out into the world to face the challenges of the workplace or community and/or join together in parenting knowing that they can trust that their relationship is first and most important to their partner. This knowledge assures that each partner creates for themselves and each other a welcome refuge from the obstacles and demands of daily life.

Aren't a secure bond and safe haven assured when a couple decides to get married or live together? Perhaps, but not necessarily. People are attracted and move in together for all sorts of different reasons. Sexual attraction may dazzle with its fantasies, hopes, dreams about how your life may be changed. This shining light though may dim important differences in temperament, values, goals, cultures. Sometimes couples join up because of anxiety about economic well-being or the desire for companionship with little sense of how to create a stable, trusting long-lasting relationship. Maybe it's just that getting married is the thing-to-do at a certain age. And sometimes, one member or both of a couple may live with the "echoes of trauma" (thanks to Dr Kathryn Rheem for this phrase) that actively prevent them from create a secure, connected relationship.

What are other advantages of a secure bond/safe haven? How then do people create a secure bond and safe haven? Please come back to this page to find out more about secure bonds and safe havens and to learn how working with a therapist trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy can help you and your partner become closer together.

© Charlie Ruff 2019

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