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Created for Connection: The "Hold Me Tight" Guide for Christian Couples

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"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." -- 1 John 4:8 Are you looking to enrich a healthy relationship, revitalize a tired one, or rescue one gone awry? Do you yearn to grow closer to God, and to further incorporate Him and His teachings into your marriage? We all want a lifetime of love, support, and faith. But sometimes we need a little help. Ent "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." -- 1 John 4:8 Are you looking to enrich a healthy relationship, revitalize a tired one, or rescue one gone awry? Do you yearn to grow closer to God, and to further incorporate Him and His teachings into your marriage? We all want a lifetime of love, support, and faith. But sometimes we need a little help. Enter Dr. Sue Johnson, developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and "the best couple therapist in the world," according to bestselling relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. 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, analyzing your early childhood, or making grand romantic gestures. Instead, get to the emotional underpinnings of your relationship by recognizing 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.


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"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." -- 1 John 4:8 Are you looking to enrich a healthy relationship, revitalize a tired one, or rescue one gone awry? Do you yearn to grow closer to God, and to further incorporate Him and His teachings into your marriage? We all want a lifetime of love, support, and faith. But sometimes we need a little help. Ent "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." -- 1 John 4:8 Are you looking to enrich a healthy relationship, revitalize a tired one, or rescue one gone awry? Do you yearn to grow closer to God, and to further incorporate Him and His teachings into your marriage? We all want a lifetime of love, support, and faith. But sometimes we need a little help. Enter Dr. Sue Johnson, developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and "the best couple therapist in the world," according to bestselling relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. 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, analyzing your early childhood, or making grand romantic gestures. Instead, get to the emotional underpinnings of your relationship by recognizing 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.

30 review for Created for Connection: The "Hold Me Tight" Guide for Christian Couples

  1. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Whether you are going to be married or have been married for many years, I think Created for Connection could be one of the most helpful books that you will ever read to make your relationship the best that it can be. Sue Johnson with Kenneth Sanderfer share relationship principles that will have you looking at your relationship in a whole new way. Sue Johnson is the developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and according to Dr. John Gottman is "the best couple therapist in the world." This Whether you are going to be married or have been married for many years, I think Created for Connection could be one of the most helpful books that you will ever read to make your relationship the best that it can be. Sue Johnson with Kenneth Sanderfer share relationship principles that will have you looking at your relationship in a whole new way. Sue Johnson is the developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and according to Dr. John Gottman is "the best couple therapist in the world." This therapy in Created for Connection helps couples create "a stronger, more secure relationship not only between partners, but between us and God." The book encourages couples to understand that they are attached to and dependent on their partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent and that we are on God to nurture, sooth and protect us. Problems occur when that fails to happen at certain times in the relationship. Johnson offers couples seven transforming conversations to help heal those issues if they are there, to heal, and to form a tighter bond with each other. The last section of the book then takes that bond and shows how we can become even closer with our partner spiritually and, ultimately, with God through this process. Created for Connection is honestly one of the best books I have read this year. I was surprised at how much I learned from this book. My husband and I are in a secure relationship, but this book still has had a positive effect on our relationship. As I read through the book, I kept stopping to share parts with my husband and apply principles. I don't think we will ever look at our disagreements the same way again. . .and I think that is good. At the same time, in order to use this book to learn and grow, we took the book in bits and pieces. Created for Connection includes many stories of other couples, stories from the author, information on how to make changes and steps to take to make changes in your own relationship. There is a lot of good "meat" in this book. I just couldn't read through it quickly because I think we would have missed too much. It is just full of information on relating to your spouse in a whole different way and understanding why we react to difficulties in a certain way. We learned so much more about each other as we went through the book together. I would encourage anyone and everyone to read Created for Connection. We plan to keep it in our home library to refer to whenever we want or need to. I highly recommend it to every couple. Also, as the author mentioned in the book, the principles in this book apply to other relationships besides marriage relationships and can help enhance them too. I received this book from the publisher, Little, Brown and Company. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

    I am so glad this was my first book read in 2017. As a pastor, this is truly an excellent book that goes well beyond the pastoral need for expertise in handling married couples in crisis or even enriching marriages. The science that Sue Johnson has developed, apart from faith, so obviously reveals the harmony between science, reality and Scripture that this book had to be written. I was fascinated by the foreword and the closing chapters of the book when Johnson reflects on how transformative th I am so glad this was my first book read in 2017. As a pastor, this is truly an excellent book that goes well beyond the pastoral need for expertise in handling married couples in crisis or even enriching marriages. The science that Sue Johnson has developed, apart from faith, so obviously reveals the harmony between science, reality and Scripture that this book had to be written. I was fascinated by the foreword and the closing chapters of the book when Johnson reflects on how transformative this task of considering how her science meshes with the faith she had not practiced since she was a child, and how she is even now well on her way to a journey of faith as an adult. Read this book - not only for the incredible help it can bring to you in terms of marriage and relationship counselling (or if you just desire something to help you strengthen and build your own romantic relationship), but also for insight into the fundamentals of faith - God is love, and because of love, He created. Because of love, He saved. Because of love, He lives. Because of love, we live.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And I'm so glad I did! My husband and I are currently in marriage counseling to try to strengthen our marriage. We both come from broken backgrounds and have what our therapist refers to as "attachment wounds". This book follows along with our therapists methods of trying to create a connection. If you're feeling lonely and lost in your marriage, the steps in this book will help you strengthen that bond so you're not lonely. It I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And I'm so glad I did! My husband and I are currently in marriage counseling to try to strengthen our marriage. We both come from broken backgrounds and have what our therapist refers to as "attachment wounds". This book follows along with our therapists methods of trying to create a connection. If you're feeling lonely and lost in your marriage, the steps in this book will help you strengthen that bond so you're not lonely. It's incredibly useful and well-written and in a time when we're all so busy looking down at our screens and crying out desperately for connections, it's just the right kind of book we need to realize connections have to be face-to-face, not across a technology screen!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Spaun

    Great stuff. Focused more on working through fights than I wanted.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Helen Nichole

    Follow me on IG @helenturnspages “Love is a continual process of seeking and losing emotional connection, and reaching out to find it again. The bond of love is a living thing. If we don't attend to it, it naturally begins to wither. In a world that is moving even faster and requiring us to juggle more and more tasks, it is a challenge to be present in the moment and to tend to our own and our partner's need for connection.” I have such mixed feelings about this book. The concept behind it is fant Follow me on IG @helenturnspages “Love is a continual process of seeking and losing emotional connection, and reaching out to find it again. The bond of love is a living thing. If we don't attend to it, it naturally begins to wither. In a world that is moving even faster and requiring us to juggle more and more tasks, it is a challenge to be present in the moment and to tend to our own and our partner's need for connection.” I have such mixed feelings about this book. The concept behind it is fantastic- how to connect and reconnect with your partner by overcoming past hurts, identifying triggers, and strengthening vulnerable conversation. Dr. Johnson really is an expert in her field and my social work side LOVED reading the methodology behind EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy)- its basis in attachment theory and Bowen's work. She does a fantastic job breaking down each concept she introduces in a way that makes her "Hold Me Tight" guide easy to understand and apply. Where I got caught up was the lengthy examples of her clients. It seemed like for every paragraph of helpful and insightful information, two pages of examples followed and for some that may be beneficial, personally I skimmed through the vast majority of them. Perhaps my favorite part of this book was how each chapter she outlined a "Play and Practice" exercise meant to be done as a couple so as to integrate what you were reading into your relationship in real time. Overall, I would suggest this book to any couple (not only Christian couples) as a tool to connect at a deeper level. I do think it may be more beneficial to read as a couple rather than solo so that the "Play and Practice" exercises can be understood in full by both partners.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steven Evans

    This is really a powerful book for couples. Sometimes the pattern of fighting is the problem because people cannot see the deeper emotions underlying the behaviors and words. The book begins with the work of John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, who did the foundational studies on emotional attachment and its affect on children throughout life. The same principles that apply to children also apply to couples. I found this section to be really impactful, especially based on the work of Dr. Karyn P This is really a powerful book for couples. Sometimes the pattern of fighting is the problem because people cannot see the deeper emotions underlying the behaviors and words. The book begins with the work of John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, who did the foundational studies on emotional attachment and its affect on children throughout life. The same principles that apply to children also apply to couples. I found this section to be really impactful, especially based on the work of Dr. Karyn Purvis, with whom I was already familiar. Dr. Sue Johnson then shows how couples can get into the negative conversational patterns (which she calls dances) and how to begin to recognize the steps in each other's dance. Often the pattern is one person craves a response and attacks and the other person withdrawals in fear. She then shows how to give voice to and respond to the deeper emotions underlying these actions (often fear, shame, or sadness) and to respond with an even closer connection. I found this book to be very helpful in recognizing what happens inside of me during arguments and to own my parts. I hope others might find it helpful in this way as well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    James (JD) Dittes

    There are two books here. The primary book focuses on cases studies led by Sue Johnson, who has developed ways to get couples to get out of cycles of recrimination and suspicion and on to a course of reconciliation. I won't go into the acronyms here like EFT or ARE and others developed in the book. In short, I think this book is for couples who are in the beginning stages of recovery. I found the transcripts of "Demon Dialogues," pinpointing in conversations where well-meaning spouses can get off There are two books here. The primary book focuses on cases studies led by Sue Johnson, who has developed ways to get couples to get out of cycles of recrimination and suspicion and on to a course of reconciliation. I won't go into the acronyms here like EFT or ARE and others developed in the book. In short, I think this book is for couples who are in the beginning stages of recovery. I found the transcripts of "Demon Dialogues," pinpointing in conversations where well-meaning spouses can get off the tracks, to be the most beneficial section. Christian perspectives, presumably written by Sanderfer, are shoe-horned into the text. Christian readers will appreciate this background, but more secular readers will still benefit from Johnson's observations because the central findings of the book are so rooted in her clinical practice. Couples who have moved past the initial, painful stages of marriage therapy and reconciliation, may not find this to be the right book for them but will still find ideas an strategies for an enduring, healing relationship.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Circle of Hope Pastors

    Sue Johnson has made earning a secure attachment in marriage practical. This practical, not-so-easy book is a great intellectual basis for something that needs to be practiced, not just considered. Read it with your spouse, do the exercises, and you will be a LOT better off. You can achieve a similar affect by doing some work with an EFT Therapist. We all come into our relationships with some habits of the heart firmly in place -- and often unconscious. Marriage is a great gift of God to us whic Sue Johnson has made earning a secure attachment in marriage practical. This practical, not-so-easy book is a great intellectual basis for something that needs to be practiced, not just considered. Read it with your spouse, do the exercises, and you will be a LOT better off. You can achieve a similar affect by doing some work with an EFT Therapist. We all come into our relationships with some habits of the heart firmly in place -- and often unconscious. Marriage is a great gift of God to us which encourages us to be conscious and healed! But it isn't easy to get there and we often mess it up. This book can help.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Good read! This book was recommended to us (Nicole and I) and it delivered! Seeking to develop stronger emotional connection may seem intuitive, but the book offers practical tools and exercises that are particularly helpful. I particularly appreciated how she described the need to take a step back in the midst of a heated moment and consider attachment needs. While I enjoyed the read, I also struggled to relate to many of the examples Dr. Johnson refers to throughout the text. Rather than turnin Good read! This book was recommended to us (Nicole and I) and it delivered! Seeking to develop stronger emotional connection may seem intuitive, but the book offers practical tools and exercises that are particularly helpful. I particularly appreciated how she described the need to take a step back in the midst of a heated moment and consider attachment needs. While I enjoyed the read, I also struggled to relate to many of the examples Dr. Johnson refers to throughout the text. Rather than turning to this book for "life-support," I read this for routine maintenance. To that extent, while relevant, some of the anecdotes were difficult for me to relate to.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    This book was a barrier for me understanding EFT instead of a help. It is poorly written and spends most of the pages telling anecdotes about other couples rather than discussing the concepts of EFT. In fact, as the book progresses, each chapter presents just a couple of pages discussing the topic and dozens of pages sharing examples. This could have been a brief booklet if they published the actual amount of actual content present without the numerous anecdotes. I like to be challenged and enga This book was a barrier for me understanding EFT instead of a help. It is poorly written and spends most of the pages telling anecdotes about other couples rather than discussing the concepts of EFT. In fact, as the book progresses, each chapter presents just a couple of pages discussing the topic and dozens of pages sharing examples. This could have been a brief booklet if they published the actual amount of actual content present without the numerous anecdotes. I like to be challenged and engaged by what I read. I can see how others might like this text, but for me it was fluffy and unhelpful.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Podryadchikov

    In the world of marriage counseling, Sue Johnson's approach stands out as it focuses on the emotional underlying behind each relationship. In seven discussions, Johnson offers to walk a path to an emotionally healthy relationship between a husband and wife. If you know of someone who is about to give up on their marriage, ask them to give it another try with Jonhson's approach. Yet, even a seemingly healthy couple can benefit from having the suggested conversations. A professional counselor, who In the world of marriage counseling, Sue Johnson's approach stands out as it focuses on the emotional underlying behind each relationship. In seven discussions, Johnson offers to walk a path to an emotionally healthy relationship between a husband and wife. If you know of someone who is about to give up on their marriage, ask them to give it another try with Jonhson's approach. Yet, even a seemingly healthy couple can benefit from having the suggested conversations. A professional counselor, who specializes in Johnson's approach, would be an added benefit.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    An excellent source for all married couples, whether or not you’re struggling. Dr. Johnson provides different conversations to navigate through together to help bolster your relationship with your spouse. It is all done in the framework of EFT, emotionally focused therapy, Dr. Johnson developed to help strengthen marriages. I have recommended this book several times already and will continue to do so!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

    To say that Sue Johnson's research and perspective on the dynamics of intimate relationships is eye-opening would be an understatement. The hope that is available for marriages in these pages! Anyone who is in a couple, works with a couple, or cares about a couple should read and re-read this book. To say that Sue Johnson's research and perspective on the dynamics of intimate relationships is eye-opening would be an understatement. The hope that is available for marriages in these pages! Anyone who is in a couple, works with a couple, or cares about a couple should read and re-read this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Amazing -- I can't believe how helpful this book is. Identifying patterns, seeing how we relate and then don't make progress. Understanding why I react the way I do. Read this and watch the video "stone face to baby experiment". Blew my mind. Amazing -- I can't believe how helpful this book is. Identifying patterns, seeing how we relate and then don't make progress. Understanding why I react the way I do. Read this and watch the video "stone face to baby experiment". Blew my mind.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    My only wish is that there was an edition of this book specifically for single people. But I am grateful for the things I have learned from this book and would recommend it to anyone who has interest in building up their relationships.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    There are so many enlightening situations presented in this book. I need to hear it again to process more. Maybe once a year to really look at some of my behaviors and contributions to my marriage relationship.

  17. 4 out of 5

    PD

    Excellent. This is a complimentary treatment of her prior book Hold Me Tight co-written by a student and fellow practitioner of EFT. The particular audience of this book is Christian couples. I recommend either book and commend Sue Johnson’s work.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    This book had some helpful content and great illustrations of what the topics looked like within marriage. However, it read as if a Christian perspective was forced into the context of a secular approach to counseling married couples.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    Another wonderful book by Sue Johnson. I found myself highlighting a lot of this book and referring back to situations in my own life. The information is certainly something I feel to be true, albeit it is counter-cultural to much of today's societal teachings. Another wonderful book by Sue Johnson. I found myself highlighting a lot of this book and referring back to situations in my own life. The information is certainly something I feel to be true, albeit it is counter-cultural to much of today's societal teachings.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Prichard

    Really loved the way this book ministered to our marriage. Great exercises for married couples.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gregory P.

    Great introduction to EMOTIONAL INTIMACY and patterns that get in the way for couples.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma Doyle

    A must read. Makes complete sense and is a priceless resource for couples.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    I read this with Todd and a couple we mentored. The main author is not a Christian. It was a pretty dense read, and I think there are many other far better marriage books to read than this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joe Stewart

    Excellent advise and counsel!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Richardson

    Loved this book. Loved the different suggestions after each topic for couples to try. Such a beautiful book on connection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet Anderson

    Such a good book if you are looking to improve your relationship with your spouse. Book gave good insight and steps/exercises for working through the different ways to connect.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tima

    The two authors have taken their experiences as psychologist and emotional focused therapist and written a book designed for couples using the EFT method. EFT is Emotionally Focused Therapy the views the love relationship as an attachment bond. The couples are taught to find ways to grow and enrich the bond they have with each other. The authors give practical advice and tell stories from their experiences that help show the method they are encouraging. The book was easy to read. The steps seeme The two authors have taken their experiences as psychologist and emotional focused therapist and written a book designed for couples using the EFT method. EFT is Emotionally Focused Therapy the views the love relationship as an attachment bond. The couples are taught to find ways to grow and enrich the bond they have with each other. The authors give practical advice and tell stories from their experiences that help show the method they are encouraging. The book was easy to read. The steps seemed easy to implement and the authors appeared knowledgeable about the topic. I found the book to be incredibly long and as it went on, more and more boring. While it was a well written book, it seemed more therapy focused and less self-help. Which would have been my reason for purchasing had I picked up the book. Overall, this might help couples who really don't realize that negative words towards their spouse are a bad thing, or someone who really needs their eyes opened. But it wasn't really something I found that I could benefit from. I received a copy of this book from Goodreads. All thoughts expressed are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Still reading this one as it is the same as Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love (which I'm also reading) except with a Christian spin. I'm skimming this one while reading the other one and it has a lot of the same content. The Christian content is good, although not anything new to me who already believes that the Bible fully backs up what she says in the Hold Me Tight version. Still it's a nice reminder and has me looking at passages in the Bible again which is always good. Still reading this one as it is the same as Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love (which I'm also reading) except with a Christian spin. I'm skimming this one while reading the other one and it has a lot of the same content. The Christian content is good, although not anything new to me who already believes that the Bible fully backs up what she says in the Hold Me Tight version. Still it's a nice reminder and has me looking at passages in the Bible again which is always good. The second half of the book was a bit slow so I docked a star, but still highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    April

  30. 5 out of 5

    Terri Pretiger

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