Creating healthier relationships, uncovering the problems below the surface

SEATTLE -- A happier New Year, may mean a healthier relationship with your partner. In fact, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute nearly a third of all goals set in the new year are relationship related.

Local EFT (Emotional Focused Therapy) and Hold Me Tight Therapist, Heather Sund, says most couples think they should focus on communication skills, but it is more than that.

“Even the most refined communications skills will not change anything unless we have cultivated a strong emotional bond with our partner,” Heather said.

She recommends first to discover what is under the surface.

“If we pause to consider what is under the surface we discover that a partner who is angry, for example, is on another level feeling alone in the relationship and the angry protests are an effort to get more connection. Or a partner who seems distant or shutdown, might actually be feeling fearful that the relationship is in trouble and they don’t know how to fix it.”

She says as both couples understand the underlying emotions, they begin to create a stronger bond with their partner.

Next, Sund recommends pushing off the cultural tendency to feel independent, but instead allow yourself to “need” your partner.

“We live in a culture that praises independence and autonomy, and again, what we have learned from the research, and the very survival of our species, is that we need to need one another.”

To form what she calls “functional dependency” she says couples should rediscover why they became a couple in the first place. She says it is neither neediness or independence, but the desire to care and be cared for by a significant other.

To register for Sund’s Hold Me Tight seminars, go to You can also find her personal information at