Dr. Susan Johnson the creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) proves what I have found true in my own life as well as my practice – Love Changes Us.
She did an experiment that showed how our brain images change when we face something we fear while with someone we love as opposed to being alone or with someone we don’t know. Perhaps it is not a surprise to you that the result of the experiment showed a positive brain response when the subject was with someone they loved as they encountered a fearful stimulus. The article mainly highlights a couple who is having trouble relationally and shows how the wife’s brain responded to her husband taking her hand while being exposed to the fear stimulus both before and after having done EFT as a couple.
After EFT the wife responded with less of a fear response when her husband took her hand while she experienced the fear stimulus.
EFT is validated to be an effective therapy for couples with positive outcomes (to read the article I reference click here)
Immediately after reading this article I was reminded of 1 John 4:18 where it says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” This verse isn’t saying we are not supposed to fear, but when we do fear and we are in the presence of love, love takes (“casts out”) away our fear (or lessens its power).
I have feared a lot in my life – “Will I be able to pay my bills, can I make it as a single mom, will people judge me because I am divorced, will I be loved, will I be alone….” I have a lot of fears and maybe you do too. I have learned in my life to not hate what I fear. I used to try to numb my fears or run from them, though this never worked for long. Through the course of many trials that had many fears I have learned to embrace my fears. I have learned that the fear itself is not scary at all – its what I do with my fear that matters.
So what do I do with my fear?
I RUN to God who has promised to love me and cast out my fear. Love has changed me – God’s love has changed me. I wonder what my brain looked like on the day I began to have a relationship with Him!
-by: Lianne Johnson, LPC