What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?
By Sue Dawson at EWC

Emotion Focused Therapy Resources I have found useful

Here are some books, Audios and Links which I have found useful and which I am happy to recommend as possibly valuable to support your individual and combined journeys.

I trust that this reading helps provide you with the stimulation, learning and hope that you need to continue to build relationships with(in) yourself and with others.

Dr Sue Johnson – one of the founders of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples



you can contact her at: sue@iceeft.com

Dr. Sue Johnson: Cracking the Code of Love [The Knowledge Project Ep. #62] https://fs.blog/sue-johnson/

Dr Sue Johnson - founder of emotionally focused therapy
Dr Sue Johnson
An emotionally focused workbook for couples

Book - An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples – “The Two of Us”

This workbook is intended for use with couples who want to enhance their emotional connection or overcome their relationship distress. It is recommended for use with couples working with the Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) model. 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 (33) 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.

Book – “Hold Me Tight” By Dr. Sue Johnson

“As lovers, we poise together delicately on a tightrope. When the winds of doubt and fear begin blowing, if we panic and clutch at each other or abruptly turn away and head for cover, the rope sways more and more and our balance becomes even more precarious. To stay on the rope, we must shift with each other’s moves, respond to each other’s emotions. As we connect, we balance each other. We are in emotional equilibrium.”

Developed by Dr Sue Johnson over 20 years ago and practised all over the world, Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) has been heralded by Time magazine and the New York Times as the couple therapy with the highest rate of success. Couples who use EFT see a 75 per cent success rate. The therapy program focuses on the emotional connection of every relationship by de-escalating conflict, creating a safe emotional connection, and strengthening bonds between partners.

In HOLD ME TIGHT, EFT pioneer Dr Sue Johnson presents her highly effective therapy model to the general public for the first time. Through case studies from her practice, illuminating advice and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.

Some programs may also be available on-line:

EFT Hold Me Tight Online Program 50% off

Hold Me Tight - Sue Johnson

Book – “Love Sense” - The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

By Sue Johnson

The bestselling author of Hold Me Tight presents a revolutionary new understanding of why and how we love, based on cutting-edge research. Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. LOVE SENSE presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life.

Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our “love sense”–our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival.

LOVE SENSE covers the three stages of a relationship and how to best weather them; the intelligence of emotions and the logic of love; the physical and psychological benefits of secure love; and much more. Based on groundbreaking research, LOVE SENSE will change the way we think about love.

Quarantine Quarrels Exercise

How emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged are you and your partner?

This questionnaire will access the Accessibility, Responsiveness, and Engagement (A.R.E.) between you and your partner. It is the first step to applying the wisdom of Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) to your own relationship.

I offer this as part of my work with individuals and couples, however if you want to try it on your own, you can complete this questionnaire and reflect on your relationship. Or you and your partner can each complete it and then discuss your answers together.

Book – “Parenting from the Inside Out” - 10th Anniversary Revised Edition

How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive

By Daniel Siegel, Mary Hartzell

Daniel Siegal is an outstanding leader in the field.

This is an updated edition — with a new preface — of the bestselling parenting classic by the author of “BRAINSTORM: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.” In “Parenting from the Inside Out,” child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and early childhood expert Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., explore the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent.

Drawing on stunning new findings in neurobiology and attachment research, they explain how interpersonal relationships directly impact the development of the brain, and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories, which will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.

Born out of a series of parents’ workshops that combined Siegel’s cutting-edge research on how communication impacts brain development with Hartzell’s decades of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.

Book – “Wired for Love:” How Understanding Your Partner's Brain Can Help You Defuse Conflicts and Spark Intimacy

“What the heck is my partner thinking?” is a common refrain in romantic relationships, and with good reason. Every person is wired for love differently, with different habits, needs, and reactions to conflict. The good news is that most people’s minds work in predictable ways and respond well to security, attachment, and rituals, making it possible to actually neurologically prime the brain for greater love and fewer conflicts.

Wired for Love is a complete insider’s guide to understanding a partner’s brain and promoting love and trust within a romantic relationship. Readers learn ten scientific principles they can use to avoid triggering fear and panic in their partners, manage their partners’ emotional reactions when they do become upset, and recognize when the brain’s threat response is hindering their ability to act in a loving way.

By learning to use simple gestures and words, readers can learn to put out emotional fires and help their partners feel more safe and secure. The no-fault view of conflict in this book encourages readers to move past a “warring brain” mentality and toward a more cooperative “loving brain” understanding of the relationship. Based in the sound science of neurobiology, attachment theory, and emotion regulation research, this book is essential reading for couples and others interested in understanding the complex dynamics at work behind love and trust in intimate relationships.

Audio – “Your Brain on Love:” The Neurobiology of Healthy Relationships

Same as the book Wired for Love read by the author – recommended

by Stan Tatkin

Shift Out of Conflict and into Connection, Safety, and Intimacy

“Improve your brain, improve your relationships.” That’s what Stan Tatkin has learned from his leading-edge work as a researcher and emotion focused therapy-based couples’ therapist. In this complete audio learning program, he merges current insights from neurobiology and attachment theory to help you shift out of conflict and into deeper and more loving connections.

You’ll first learn to identify attachment styles—patterns of intimacy that begin in the earliest years—both in yourself and in those around you. Then Tatkin guides you through his proven principles and practices for building enduring security and commitment between partners, family members, and others whom you love. Join him to explore:

The warring brain versus the loving brain

  • When your brain’s threat response is getting in the way of love
  • How to avoid triggering fear and help your partner feel safe and secure
  • Simple gestures and words to put out emotional fires
  • The power of rituals to build trust and intimacy
  • How to make your relationship a sanctuary, and more

Based upon key insights from neurobiology, attachment theory, and emotion regulation research, Your Brain on Love will show you how to change the way you relate with others and open the way to greater love and connection.


  • The neurobiology of mating—who we choose and why
  • The neurobiology of commitment—building security, the foundation of a healthy relationship
  • Anchor, Island, and Wave types: understanding your attachment style and those of others
  • “Is it you or is it me?” Understanding how the attachment styles of others interact with your own.
  • Experiencing healthy conflict through social contracts, ground rules, and awareness
  • Creating a lifelong plan to continue deepening your relationships

Book - “Buddha's Brain” -The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

By Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius

Jesus, Gandhi, and the Buddha all had brains built essentially like anyone else’s, yet they were able to harness their thoughts and shape their patterns of thinking in ways that changed history. With new breakthroughs in modern neuroscience and the wisdom of thousands of years of contemplative practice, it is possible for us to shape our own thoughts in a similar way for greater happiness, love, compassion, and wisdom.

“Buddha’s Brain” joins the forces of modern neuroscience with ancient contemplative teachings to show readers how they can work toward greater emotional well-being, healthier relationships, more effective actions, and deepened religious and spiritual understanding. This book will explain how the core elements of both psychological well-being and religious or spiritual life – virtue, mindfulness, and wisdom – are based in the core functions of the brain: regulating, learning, and valuing.

Book – “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World”

By Mark Williams, Danny Penman, J Mark G Williams, Jon Kabat-Zinn

From one of the leading thinkers on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, a pioneering set of simple practices to dissolve anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and unhappiness.

In “Mindfulness,” Oxford professor Mark Williams and award-winning journalist Dr. Danny Penman reveal the secrets to living a happier and less anxious, stressful and exhausting life.

Based on the techniques of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, the unique program developed by Williams and his colleagues, the book offers simple and straightforward forms of mindfulness meditation that can be done by anyone and it can take just 10-20 minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed.”

Sue Dawson - Emotion Focused Therapy Specialist

Sue Dawson

MHSc GradDipHA DipSomPsych CertNursing
CertMidwifery PACFA Clinical

My Emotionally Focused Therapy Services

In my work as a couples counsellor I have found EFT to be the most effective methodology. EFT is backed by 30 years of research. This research has proven EFT to be effective model for addressing couple distress and strengthening attachment bonds. Using EFT, 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements.

As a licensed and respected emotion focused therapy practitioner, I offer you support to understand, heal and enhance your emotional connection – enabling you to dance together with responsive engagement. Some couples come to me distressed and hurting, perhaps from a crisis such as illness or an affair. Other couples have lost their initial connection and want to feel closer and more connected.

No matter what your issues as a couple (or individual issues) are, I can help you. Contact me today to organise a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your needs, or click the button below to learn more.

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