My Account

Our Friend and Valued Colleague, Sue Johnson

Share this post:

We are so sad to announce that Sue Johnson has died at the age of 76 from cancer.  She was a close friend of ours and a valued colleague. We loved her enormously. She gave us profound insights into how to create connection and safety in close relationships. Sue used attachment theory to brilliantly illuminate the logic of emotions and how, once revealed, they become a guide to our interpersonal needs. These needs, once articulated in the context of a loving, safe haven can guide a couple toward lasting love.  

From the start, Sue created a theory of adult love relationships that she tested empirically. She combined the best qualities of a healer with the best qualities of a scientist. She could also communicate her insights poetically and lyrically. When she observed that some couples got stuck using her emotionally-focused therapy, she went back to the data and revealed that in most cases there was a regrettable incident that had created an attachment injury, and then she demonstrated that healing that attachment injury increased her therapy’s effectiveness. Science, guided by clinical intuition, doesn’t get any better than that. 

The three of us used to have deep conversations about the dance of love and how to conduct further studies into choreographing it.  Years ago, Sue also joined us at a Gottman Institute Summit conference that was one of our best.  She was always willing to share her insights.  It might be easiest to say that we had a mutual admiration society.  

For Sue relationship synchrony could become a beautiful dance that could give flight to a couple’s imagination and intimacy. Sue Johnson tapped a vital fountain of love and connection that could heal and create a secure bond. What a meaningful life she led. 

We will deeply miss her.  

Share this post:

World-renowned researchers and clinical psychologists, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman have conducted 50 years of breakthrough research with thousands of couples. They have published over 200 academic journal articles and written 46 books that have sold over a million copies in more than a dozen languages.

Recommended products


Join the thousands of clinicians worldwide who have completed Level 1 and 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.  Save when you bundle both programs together.


How Successful Couples Turn Conflict Into Connection

Fight Right, the New York Times Best Selling book from Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman and Dr. John Gottman


Conflict is the top reason couples seek help—but it’s also an opportunity for greater intimacy, deeper connection, and lasting love according to this essential guide from the world’s leading relationship scientists and bestselling authors of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Eight Dates.

Click here for free Fight Right resources and products from the Gottmans on how to turn conflict into connection.

On sale now!

Related posts

Is my partner a narcissist

Is My Partner a Narcissist?

The Gottman Institute

Read More

helicopter parent with child

Helicopter Parenting: From Good Intentions to Poor Outcomes

The Gottman Institute

We live in a competitive world and want to give our kids every advantage. But with helicopter parenting, it can backfire ...

Read More

Distressed woman experiencing emotional conflict as her husband yells, highlighting relationship tension and communication issues.

Why Is My Husband Yelling at Me?

The Gottman Institute

Read More

How to Be Kind When You’re Upset With Your Partner

Sanaa Hyder

Kindness is not just important in the heat of an argument. ...

Read More

Inside Out 2 and Emotion Coaching

Amy McMahan

Gottman's emotion coaching is brought to life in the movie Inside Out 2. ...

Read More

Getting Parents on the Same Page

Rebecca Eanes

Dr. Gottman’s research has shown us that there are three steps to reaching a compromise. ...

Read More

Subscribe to Gottman Love Notes

Sign up and start your relationship transformation. Subscribe and get the latest on relationships, therapy, and much more from the experts. Includes a free download and access to special pricing on Gottman products every month