LOVE SENSE by Sue Johnson


The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
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A self-help book from a clinical psychologist promoting a model of treatment called Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Johnson (Clinical Psychology/Alliant International Univ.; Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, 2008, etc.), one of the founders of EFT in the 1980s, credits her approach to couples therapy to the theories concerning attachment patterns in infants developed by psychiatrist John Bowlby decades earlier. In the first part of the book, the author argues that through clinical studies, laboratory experiments and applied therapies, science has now revealed that love, vital to our existence, is not only understandable, but also repairable. In other words, love makes sense, hence the title. In a chapter on the brain, Johnson looks at research into the neurochemistry of love, especially the so-called cuddle hormone, oxytocin. In another, on the body, she examines the connection between attachment and sexuality. In the second part of the book, the narrative’s core, Johnson shows EFT in action, with the author, a practicing couples therapist, presenting the cases of various distressed couples in therapy who are learning how to recognize their attachment issues, understand their emotions, and work to repair and enhance their relationships. All chapters conclude with exercises for readers to try either alone or with a partner. In the third part, Johnson offers readers a sweet love story with a happy ending and then broadens her perspective to a view of love in the 21st century. It is, she opines optimistically, a time when a growing awareness of humanity’s interdependence on this small planet is leading people to find ways to connect and cooperate—or as the author would put it, to love and be loved.

A readable combination of research findings and case studies, filled with good cheer and practical advice.

Pub Date: Dec. 31st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-13376-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2013


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