A new year increases my desire to pass along the latest research in relationship counseling. How convenient is it that Dr. Susan Johnson came out with her most recent book, Love Sense, available on January 1, 2014?


I first heard Sue mention her new book at the Chicago Externship I attended over the summer. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical. Can her new book ever replace Hold Me Tight that I’ve faithfully recommended for years? But from what I’ve heard and read, Love Sense might move to the top of my list for my couples or individuals who like a good read to get a handle on their relationship.


The title alone suggests an exquisite logic that underlies adult love. Yet, we often don’t see the words “love” and “sense” together. Current research supports a certain sense behind why we do what we do in relationships. An understanding of emotional bonding does not take away from the feeling of love, but enhances it. Thirty years of science supports that novelty in sex isn’t as important as believing your partner is accessible, available and simply wants to be with you. Even the most distressed couples can renew their relational bond if they can see how their emotions, and those of their spouse, aren’t so crazy after all.


Many of us think growing up is all about separating from our parents and becoming our own person. Research tells us, however, that even in maturity, humans are social creatures and far less stressed when we have strong, loving connections. We need relational security all throughout the life span. Connection with significant others support our happiness, success and our physical and mental health.


As a practitioner, Love Sense provides a new tool to pass along to clients who want a better understanding of why they fall into a pattern of conflict with their spouse, fiancé or girlfriend/boyfriend. No matter how much our partner aggravates us, we really do need him or her. Our loved one may be the source of our difficulties, but he or she is also the best one to help us out of them. A good therapist just provides a little “choreography” for their new dance of connection.


Check out Sue’s website and an excerpt from Love Sense at The findings are fascinating and a good way to get your year off to a great start.