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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes how attachment concepts can be applied with adults in psychotherapy, providing treatment recommendations and instructive case vignettes.
Purpose: The author states, "Drawing on neurobiology, cognitive science, trauma studies, and Buddhist psychology as well as attachment theory and relational psychoanalysis, I aim to convey how therapists can make practical use of three key findings of attachment research. Accordingly, I focus on the therapeutic relationship as a developmental crucible, the centrality of the nonverbal dimension, and the transformative influence of reflection and mindfulness.
Audience: The book is intended for all psychotherapists who treat adults, including clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and clinical social workers. Students and residents also will find it informative. The author is a clinical psychologist in private practice who has been practicing, teaching, and writing for almost three decades.
Features: A review of attachment theory and some of the historical figures who developed the concepts (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main, and Fonagy, etc.) begins the book. The author focuses on three main findings of attachment research: co-created relationships of attachment are the key context for development; preverbal experience makes up the core of the developing self; and stance of the self toward experience predicts attachment security better than the facts of personal history themselves. The book is well written with nice case vignettes and discussion with three types of clients (the dismissing patient, the preoccupied patient, the unresolved patient). However, it is not the easiest book to read. Figures and/or tables would have helped to elucidate the material a little better.
Assessment: This is the perfect guide for therapists who want to learn how to apply attachment concepts in psychotherapy. The author presents helpful insights which would be valuable to any practicing therapist, regardless of theoretical orientation. Obviously, therapists who hold to a psychodynamic approach would be able to gain even more. Although not easy reading, it is well worth the effort.