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Publisher's Summary

Are you looking to enrich a healthy relationship, revitalize a tired one, or rescue one gone awry? We all want a lifetime of love, support, and companionship. But sometimes we need a little help.

Enter Dr. Sue Johnson, developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy and "the best couple therapist in the world," according to best-selling relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. In Hold Me Tight, Dr. Johnson shares her groundbreaking and remarkably successful program for creating stronger, more secure relationships.

The message of Hold Me Tight is simple: Forget about learning how to argue better, analyzing your early childhood, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, get to the emotional underpinnings of your relationship by recognizing that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection.

Dr. Johnson teaches that the way to enhance or save a relationship is to be open, attuned, and responsive to each other and to reestablish emotional connection. With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship - from "Recognizing the Demon Dialogues" to "Forgiving Injuries" - and uses them as touch points for seven healing conversations. These conversations give you insight into the defining moments in your relationship and guide you in reshaping these moments to create a secure and lasting bond.

©2008 Dr. Sue Johnson; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Unique book for couples and therapists

Susan Johnson's book "Hold me tight" gives a wonderful and crystal clear introduction to emotionally focused couples therapy, and it is in fact the best book I have ever read on couples therapy. And I have read lots of books on this topic the last ten years!! "Hold me tight" has changed my way of working with couples and it has had positive and important impact on my personal life, too. I really recommend it to everybody, even those who are single at the moment!
As Susan Johnsen says: This approach works for truck drivers as well as for lawyers. As a Norwegian psychologist and family therapist I will add: It even works for Norwegians, these shy vikings, who doesn't show too much emotion ;-)

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Debra
  • United States
  • 11-05-12

Most Sensible book on Repairing Relationships!

If you could sum up Hold Me Tight in three words, what would they be?

Meaningful, Palpable, Useful!

What did you like best about this story?

An actual self help book that has substance and can help! I am a Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, and am generally not impressed by self help books, but this one actually allows one to use some general principals and tailor the solutions to one's own marriage or relationship for deep, and long lasting changes. Debra A. Hill, M.D., Laguna Hills, CA

What about Sandra Burr’s performance did you like?

Excellent reader. Clearly a professional!

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Hold Me Tight?

I liked the description of the emotional dances called "Find the Bad Guy," or the "Protest Polka," or "Freeze and Flee." By giving these names to the "demon dialogues" as the author calls them, it gives a couple the opportunity to unite against these "demons" by giving them a name. When two people are united against something, it propels them to want to work together to avoid the problems, and takes the blaming away. I loved the premise that troubles in the relationships are linked back to a break in the safe feeling of attachment to one another, because that safe attached feeling is what love is really all about! When that is threatened, we become scared and angry, want to plead for attention, and if it happens over and over again, we freeze up our feelings and flee. Through the seven suggested conversations, the author shows how to get through these tough experiences to reconnect, heal and feel a "lifetime of love."

Any additional comments?

None of the other marriage books make any sense. Once you read this one, it stands head and shoulders above all of the others. There's a lot in it, and it can be a rather emotional experience for one to read the book, as the reader will see many examples of dialogue between couples that are very real and palpable that they will no doubt relate to that were painful when they themselves were in the midst of them. It's a good idea to take it slow, and read the book several times to take it all in. It is an excellent adjunct to being in couples therapy and I use it all of the time in my own private practice. Debra A. Hill, M.D., Laguna Hills, CA

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashley
  • Carmichaels, PA, USA
  • 02-02-09

Definitely Groundbreaking

My husband and I have a great relationship, but I've always wanted us to be able to communicate better about things like finances and household responsibilities. It seems as though those topics always end in an argument. It's amazing how this book has definitely changed the way we talk and interact with each other. Now that I've listened to "Hold Me Tight," my husband is going to listen to it and we're going to work through the sections together. Not only has it improved our relationship, but it's also affected my relationships with my parents, sisters, and friends. It leaves you wanting all the people in your life who are struggling in a relationship, to go through these 7 conversations with their loved one. Life-changing...

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Content is great, better on paper

I found the to be great content. But not being able to underline, not being able to easily go back and read previous pages while thinking about the exercises, made this a real limitation on audio book. If this is your only way to get this material, grab it. Otherwise grab a "BOOK" copy and thumb it madly.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Very Practical

I think she hit the nail on the head, that attachment is the basis of all relationships and the security one feels in those relationships reflects how one feels about the other person in the relationship.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Carrie
  • garden city, MI, USA
  • 10-02-09


The narration is wonderful! I have found in this book "Hold Me Tight" a wonderful new perspective on how to talk to my mate in a positive way regarding feelings and how not to end up in the all so continuious circle of blame, anger and shut down game that always happens in what was suppose to be talk about what I am feeling and how I NEED MY MATE. If you are a couple and are looking for a way to covey your truest feelings and emotions this is the book for you and how to do it without a fight. To talk about how & what you feel to get your message across without all the unnessary hurt it utltametly ends up in with one person angry and the other walking away with the issue not being solved in the first place. You learn how to tell your mate what is on your mind without accusations or conflicts that you love them and want them to be there for you in the way you need them, how you want to be loved so you can have a long lasting relationship for the rest of your life. This a 10 in my opinion for any person in any relationship-married, ingaged, gay or otherwise. You won't be disappointed!!!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • MM
  • 04-21-15

Good listen for anyone dealing w/any relationship

Where does Hold Me Tight rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a very informative book and draws a parallel in communication and dancing. It gives good advice on stepping back to observe the actual steps that lead to a fight, disagreement, unraveling or dissolution of a relationship.

Would you be willing to try another book from Sue Johnson? Why or why not?

Yes. She seems like she has great expert advice.

Which character – as performed by Sandra Burr – was your favorite?

Not sure. She does well imitating male and female character voices. I like her narration.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Hold Me Tight?

I think I'll apply the background advice to be vulnerable and upfront about needs and insecurities. That seems to have worked in most friendships. I would imagine it'll relate to my next relationship too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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great ideas, awful presentation

I think the ideas are very useful for any relationship. I'm glad I listened to the book for this, but the writing and the delivery made me feel like I'm in kindergarten class which was most irritating. But, it was still well worth hanging in there for the valuable concepts and ideas.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • A
  • 03-19-16

matched us better than all 4 previous books....

This book has improved our 27 years of bad communication. We aren't great at it, but can identify issues sooner. You will get what you put in. We were lucky to have a weekend workshop using the books conversations

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • 06-25-09


This is the finest relationship book i have read or heard.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Phyllis McA
  • 07-25-15

Worthwhile content; Spoilt by narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I think the content of the book is very good and I would really love to be able to listen to it but I cannot abide the narrator when she mimics the male voices in the case studies! Otherwise she is a good narrator, but why on earth does she try to sound like a man....I just can't listen to it.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Sorry, I never reached the end!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Sandra Burr?

Sandra Burr is a good narrator - if only she had read the case studies in her natural voice, I would have had no problem with her narration.

Did Hold Me Tight inspire you to do anything?

This book came highly recommended, as the author is noteworthy in her field. Therefore, I may well persevere with the annoyances I find with the narration, just to find out if I can apply anything to my own situation. I haven't listened to the book for several months now and can only do so in short bursts.

Any additional comments?

I would strongly suggest rerecording this book, possibly with the same narrator, but definitely without the fake male voices... please!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-17

Loved it. Really in depth review of relationships

Great read for anyone having problems or to falling into bad habits. I would highly recommend it.

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  • Marc
  • 03-18-15

Worst. Voice. Ever!

Its hard to get past the intro, this 'performance' sounds so bad. This woman sounds like a robot.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Erika
  • 06-06-16

Good content book

it has pretty good tips and as it has so many stories that is easy to relate

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • emma
  • 11-05-17

Is this narrated by a robot?

This voice does not seem real to me. It sounds like a machine. The timing is off. Words like 'liveable' are pronounced incorrectly.

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  • Rebecca Zwitser
  • 06-11-17

Robotic narration

For a book that is so personal and emotional, having a robot read it is just wrong. I returned it and will buy the ebook instead.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful