Books for Couples

Books For Couples

From Sue Johnson herself:

The message of EFT is simple: Forget about learning how to argue better, analysing your early childhood, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, recognise and admit that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection. EFT focuses on creating and strengthening this emotional bond by identifying and transforming the key moments that foster an adult loving relationship.” Dr Sue Johnson

  • EFT has an astounding 70 – 75% success rate and results have been shown to last, even in the face of significant stress.
  • EFT is recognised by the American Psychological Association as empirically proven to be effective.
  • EFT is a non-blaming, gentle approach to couple distress that validates each partner’s perspective and helps couples to send and receive clear emotional signals regarding needs and fears. It is NOT about blaming or “throwing one partner under the bus”.
  • EFT helps couples to create a secure attachment. This means not only having a close, safe and loving bond together, but also an increase in coping and overall stress management for each individual. Securely attached people navigate the trials of life with greater ease than those who are insecurely attached. There is nothing like knowing that a precious loved one has your back to help you to face what life throws at you.

To see an EFT Therapist at ACEFT in Brisbane, call 07 3831 6058 or 07 3899 8590

Hold Me Tight

Susan M. Johnson (2008) NY: Little, Brown

Hold Me Tight presents a streamlined version of EFT. It walks the reader through seven conversations that capture the defining moments in a love relationship and instructs them how to shape these moments to create a secure and lasting bond. Case histories and exercises in each conversation bring the lessons of EFT to life.

Seven Transforming Conversations:

  1. Recognising Demon Dialogues—In this first conversation, couples identify negative and destructive remarks in order to get to the root of the problem and figure out what each other is really trying to say.
  2. Finding the Raw Spots—Here, each partner learns to look beyond immediate, impulsive reactions to figure out what raw spots are being hit.
  3. Revisiting a Rocky Moment—This conversation provides a platform for de-escalating conflict and repairing rifts in a relationship and building emotional safety.
  4. Hold Me Tight—The heart of the program: this conversation moves partners into being more accessible, emotionally responsive, and deeply engaged with each other.
  5. Forgiving Injuries—Injuries may be forgiven but they never disappear. Instead, they need to become integrated into couples’ conversations as demonstrations of renewal and connection. Knowing how to find and offer forgiveness empowers couples to strengthen their bond.
  6. Bonding Through Sex and Touch—Here, couples find how emotional connection creates great sex, and good sex creates deeper emotional connection.
  7. Keeping Your Love Alive—This last conversation is built on the understanding that love is a continual process of losing and finding emotional connection; it asks couples to be deliberate and mindful about maintaining connection.

Love Sense

The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
Susan M. Johnson (2013) NY: Little, Brown

Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival. The need for connection is our first and most primary instinct. Drawing on groundbreaking research, Love Sense reveals that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child; emotional interaction with partner buffers us from stress and makes us stronger in the face of life’s challenges; touch and intimacy spurs the growth of mirror neurons, which help us “read” and respond to our partners; and a good relationship is the best recipe for happiness and good health and a powerful antidote to aging. Dr Sue Johnson, creator of the remarkably successful model of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, explains how to develop “love sense”—the ability to build long-lasting relationships.

Love Sense opens the door to the revolutionary new science of emotional bonding. It empowers you with the confidence and tools to craft make-or-break moments and weather the key stages in your relationships. Dr Johnson outlines the three basic strategies for handling your attachment needs and fears, and offers fresh insight into the link between sex and emotional bonding. Learning how to enhance or repair the bond with your partner no longer has to be a matter of guesswork. Told in Dr Johnson’s reassuring voice, Love Sense presents practical, accessible advice on building more intimacy, safety, and trust; coping with separation distress, loss, and forgiveness; and strengthening your safe-haven relationship to ensure a lifetime of love. It will change the way you think about love.

An Emotionally-Focused Workbook for Couples

The Two of Us
Veronica Kallos-Lilly and Jennifer Fitzgerald (2014, Routledge)

“The perspectives and exercises offered here are right on target; they arise from a clear understanding of the bonds of love and how these bonds work in adult relationships… We hope that this book will help you do just that – shape your precious relationship into a more satisfying and lasting bond.”

– Dr Sue Johnson, From the Foreword

“At last a workbook for couples that faithfully mirrors the process of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). It’s like having two master EFT therapists come home with you during the week to support and guide you to maintain the progress you make in therapy sessions and improve your relationship more quickly. In-depth explanations and reflective exercises will help you to explore your emotions, articulate them better for yourself, and express them to your partner. I will recommend this workbook to every one of the couples in my practice!”

Marlene Best, Ph.D – Clinical Professor in Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa; Certified EFT Therapist, Supervisor & Trainer

Veronica and Jenny, what a brilliant job you two did in translating EFT into a readable and doable tool for the “average” couple.  It also gave me another way to look at EFT as a therapist.  A great contribution to the professional as well as a lay person.  I haven’t given it to any of my couples yet but am looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on them.

– Murray Armstrong, Social Worker and EFT Couples Therapist, Edmonton Alberta, Canada

This workbook is intended for use with couples who want to enhance their emotional connection or overcome their relationship distress.  It is suggested for use with couples pursuing Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). It closely follows the course of treatment and is designed so that clinicians can easily integrate guided reading and reflections into the therapeutic process. The material is presented in a recurring format: Read, Reflect, and Discuss. Readings help couples look at their relationship through an attachment lens, walking them through the step-by-step process of creating a secure relationship bond. Thirty-three reflections invite readers to engage with the material personally, expanding their own awareness and ability to tune into their partner. Discussion sections suggest relationship-building exercises and a framework for conversations that promote safety, disclosure, and engagement. Case examples, along with informative illustrations, are scattered throughout the book to validate, illustrate, and inspire couples along their journey. Clinicians conversant with EFT can use this workbook to extend the effectiveness of their work with couples by giving them structured tasks to work on between sessions. For clinicians training in EFT, the book can guide them in staying focused on the EFT roadmap and illuminate how important change events unfold.

The Authors: Veronica Kallos-Lilly, PhD, is a registered psychologist and the Co-Founder and Director of the Vancouver Couples & Family Institute and the Centre for EFT Training in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr Kallos-Lilly is also a certified EFT supervisor and trainer. Jennifer Fitzgerald, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Queensland in Australia and Co-Founder of the Australian Centre for EFT. Dr Fitzgerald is also a certified EFT supervisor and trainer.

Created for Connection

The “Hold Me Tight” Guide for Christian Couples
Susan M. Johnson & Kenneth Sanderfer (2016, Little, Brown)

In CREATED FOR CONNECTION, Dr Johnson and Kenneth Sanderfer, a leading EFT practitioner in the Christian community, share Johnson’s groundbreaking and remarkably successful program for creating stronger, more secure relationships not only between partners, but between us and God.

The message of CREATED FOR CONNECTION is simple: Forget about learning how to argue better, analysing your early childhood, or making grand romantic gestures. Instead, get to the emotional underpinnings of your relationship by recognising that you are attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent, and we are on the Heavenly Father, for nurturing, soothing, and protection. The way to enhance or save our relationships with each other and with God is to be open, attuned, responsive, and to reestablish safe emotional connection. Filled with Bible verses, inspiring real-life stories, and guidance, CREATED FOR CONNECTION will ensure a lifetime of love.

Here are the two clips for Created for Connection :


  1. Sue Johnson :
  2. Animated :

Not Just Friends

Shirley Glass (2003) NY: Free Press

A brilliant book for helping couples to understand infidelity, how and why it happens, how to recover from it, and how to “affair-proof” your relationship.