The basis of Emotionally Focused Therapy is seven conversations that are aimed at encouraging a
special kind of emotional responsiveness that is the key to lasting love for couples…This emotional
responsiveness has three main components:
ACCESSIBILITY: Can I reach you?
This means staying open to your partner even when you have doubts and feel insecure. It often
means being willing to struggle to make sense of your emotions so these emotions are not so
overwhelming. You can then step back from disconnection and can tune in to your lover’s
RESPONSIVENESS: Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally?
This means tuning in to your partner and showing that his or her emotions, especially attachment
needs and fears, have an impact on you. It means accepting and placing a priority on the emotional
signals your partner conveys and sending clear signals of comfort and caring when your partner
needs them. Sensitive responsiveness always touches us emotionally and calms us on a physical level.
ENGAGEMENT: Do I know you will value me and stay close?
The dictionary defines engaged as being absorbed, attracted, pulled, captivated, pledged, and
involved. Emotional engagement here means the very special kind of attention that we give only to
a loved one. We gaze at them longer, touch them more. Partners often talk of this as being
Pages 60 & 61 in Created for Connection by Sue Johnson and Kenneth Standerfer © 2016
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