Let’s broaden the perspective on love beyond romantic love!
Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy is a process of love as much as is couple and family therapy. In EFIT we are not working to repair the tattered bond of one specific romantic relationship; rather, we are working with one individual to identify the patterns that shape their world and to reshape those patterns by drawing from the emotional energies embedded in their world.
We all need another: Love, as defined by attachment theory is an accessible, responsive, secure bond. Sue Johnson suggests the acronym ARE (accessible, responsive, and engaged) represents the universal attachment need to have one or two others in times of need, represented in the simple question, “Are you there for me?”
Therapy is about love: Lewis, Amini and Lannon in A General Theory of Love write, “Love is not only an end for therapy; it is also the means by which every end is reached” (p. 169).
Politics and international security is about love: MLK articulates, “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love…. Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
Love – engaging in forming safe and secure bonds intimately, societally, and internationally — is how we survive! Every moment you take to listen deeply to another, to respect the humanity in another, to offer kindness instead of bitterness in the face of competition or meanness, you are engaged in love. In the moments you reach to another for comfort when you are in need, you are inviting another to engage with you in love.
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