How Does Hold Me Tight Work?

Portland Hold Me Tight teaches seven different conversations designed to help couples learn how to move away from cycles of conflict, increase emotional responsiveness, forgive old wounds, and rekindle desire and affection. The program uses Susan Johnson's book Hold Me Tight, videos of Sue working with couples, and interactive exercises help a couple capture the defining moments of their relationship. We also share personal vignettes about our relationship to help participants emotionally connect with these ways of relating. All experiential, interactive work is done privately between the partners, followed by group discussion. No one is required to share any personal experiences with the group.

What are the Seven Conversations?

  1. Recognizing Demon Dialogues First, couples identify common emotional reactions that lead to negative cycles in order to step out of them.

  2. Finding the Raw Spots Next, each partner learns to look beyond immediate, impulsive reactions to discover the vulnerable feelings under the negative cycles.

  3. Revisiting a Rocky Moment This conversation develops a safe platform for de-escalating conflict, repairing disconnection, and building emotional security.

  4. Hold Me Tight Now the partners can move into being more accessible, emotionally responsive, and deeply engaged to strengthen and protect their emotional connection.

  5. Forgiving Injuries Old emotional hurts can block intimacy and a secure connection. Knowing how to identify these injuries and offer and accept forgiveness empowers couples to strengthen their bonds.

  6. Bonding Through Sex and Touch Here, couples learn more about how emotional connection enhances physical connection, which in turn creates deeper emotional connection the best kind of cycle.

  7. Keeping Your Love Alive The last conversation in the program builds on the understanding that a love relationship is a continual process of losing and finding emotional connection; it helps couples to be deliberate and mindful about maintaining that connection.