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emotionally focused couple therapy marriage counselling

George Hartwell M.Sc.  is a marital therapist with over 30 years experience in seeing marriage relationships healed and individual lives transformed.

For marriage counselling or couple retreats with George by calling (416) 234-1850 or E-mail to G Hartwell,

Office Location: 1454 Dundas Street East, Suite 125, Mississauga,  L4X 1L4.  Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bonding Focused Couple Therapy

© 2007, all rights reserved, by George Hartwell M.Sc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

What is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, what is the Research and How does it fit with the Bible?

  1. Emotionally focused couple therapy makes adult attachment (bonding) a prority in the session.

  2. Emotionally focused therapy is based on research on bonding and attachment,
  3. The Bible teaches that 'life-giving-attachments' are the key to life, love and God.

Bonding or Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy

Bonding Focused Couple Therapy focuses on attachment needs; on the feelings associated with distance from one's lover; on overcoming the relationship patterns that block the meeting of these needs. 

Outcomes: When a therapist takes this focus couples stay in therapy, make gains and sustain these gains over time.  As a Christian marriage counsellor I have found that almost everyone in Christian couple therapy identifies bonding as the key issue.

Meaning:  What does it look like when Emotionally focused couple therapy makes bonding the focus of marital therapy.  We focus on those  needs and feelings and conflicts related to closeness and attachment the primary issues that get our attention.  Things are less important than the people and their relationship.

Psychological Research Basis of emotionally focused couple therapy

John Bolby, Ainsworth and others discovered and described "Attachment" as a life supporting need of a newborn.  For children who are given enough life-giving attachment to live, the quality of their attachment is a significant factor underlying adult personality development.

Upon closer examination, researchers and therapist have found it fruitful to look at committed adult love relationships as a form of bonding equivalent to that between mother and child.  For partner, as for child, the relationship provides comfort, security, the courage to be oneself, to love, to learn and to change.

Theology / Biblical Perspective

"It is not good for man to be alone", says God, in the creation story of the Bible.  Genesis chapter two.

For this reason a man shall leave his mother and father and be joined (cleave) to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

"Live (abide) in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing." Jesus in the Gospel of John, chapter 15.

At the heart of marriage is a God-given bond, a loving contact, a unity.  This intimate attachment, dependency, connection is good, of God and meets a fundamental God-given need in mankind not to be alone.  On the other hand a relationship without such a life-giving connection, intimate bonding, unity is not healthy, not God's plan and represents an emotional and spiritual divorce even in the midst of a legal and church sanctioned 'marriage.'  Should one end and expose this 'white-washed tomb?'

To answer that consider what Jesus said, in a similar and parallel situation.  Jesus (John 15) insists that a life-giving bond, attachment, connection to him is essential to a life of fruitfulness.  Without this continuing and abiding attachment there is no life and no fruitfulness.  And Jesus does not hesitate to declare the end of this situation.  Such a branch is discarded.  "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch."

For sessions with George, phone counselling or retreats:
Toronto, Canada (416) 234-1850, long distance in USA or Canada: 1 (877) 854-3990
A marriage counselling retreat or Christian marriage retreat provides and excellent way to begin the process of achieving an emotionally connected couple relationship.  Christian inner healing.

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