The Goal of Couple Therapy

The Goal of Couple Therapy


Dr. Jay R. Feld
The Goal of Couple Therapy

The goal of couple therapy is the fostering of vulnerability between partners, thus strengthening the emotional bond between them. According to Dr. Sue Johnson, co creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy and author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense.

….love drives us to bond emotionally with a precious few others who offer us safe haven from the storms of live. Love is our bulwark, designed to provide emotional protection so we can cope with the ups and downs of existence. (Hold Me Tight, page 15)

Whether or not they actually speak the words, relationship partners are always asking each other these three questions (Hold Me Tight, pages 49-50)

The Accessibility question:

• Can I reach you?
• Can I get and keep your attention regularly?
• Can I get and keep your attention without great effort?

The Responsiveness question:

• When I’m in distress and I call for you, will you come and help me, and comfort me?
• Do you “get” me, or are you at least trying to “get” me?
• Am I having an impact on you—do you rejoice with me when I’m happy and cry with me when I’m sad?

The Engagement question:

• Will you value me and stay close to me? Will you stay faithful to me?
• Will you be intentional about engaging with me? Will you take initiatives to grow our relationship?
• When our connection gets strained or broken, will you work with me to repair it?