Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors: Strengthening Attachment Bonds

Overview

Trauma can have a tremendous impact on a person's capacity to trust and feel safe in intimate relationships; yet treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) generally focus on the individual client. This book suggests that couple therapy can play a vital role in recovery for individual survivors at the same time as it addresses trauma-related issues in the relationship as a whole. From pioneering treatment developer Susan M. Johnson, the volume presents a systematic intervention approach designed to ...
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Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors: Strengthening Attachment Bonds

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Overview

Trauma can have a tremendous impact on a person's capacity to trust and feel safe in intimate relationships; yet treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) generally focus on the individual client. This book suggests that couple therapy can play a vital role in recovery for individual survivors at the same time as it addresses trauma-related issues in the relationship as a whole. From pioneering treatment developer Susan M. Johnson, the volume presents a systematic intervention approach designed to modify the interactional patterns that maintain traumatic stress and foster positive, healing attachments among survivors and their partners. Combining theoretical innovation, evidence-based techniques, and wisdom gleaned from decades of front-line clinical experience, it is a vital resource for practitioners in a wide range of settings.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Most therapists nowadays take for granted the obvious relevance of couple therapy for ruptures of relationship bonds. But what is unique about this book is the vivid and vital way in which Johnson reveals the power of couple relationships to help heal trauma originally experienced by individuals outside those relationships. I hope this book will launch a new era in the psychotherapeutic treatment of PTSD and related disorders. It's that good."--Alan S. Gurman, PhD, University of Wisconsin Medical School

"With the increasing recognition that many couples 'problems are related to the traumas of one or both partners comes the need for a new framework for understanding and doing couple therapy. This book succeeds brilliantly in providing such a framework. Skillfully integrating aspects of attachment theory, traumatology, and emotion-focused couple therapy, Susan Johnson enriches each of these fields while also providing practical guidelines for both beginning and seasoned clinicians. This book represents an important advance in the treatment of couples and of trauma survivors. I will be recommending it to all my students and colleagues."--Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Center for Self Leadership, Oak Park, IL

"This book is a major advance in the treatment of traumatized individuals and their partners, and a much-needed resource for clinicians. Dr. Johnson clearly shows how the experience of any kind of trauma can resonate in an individual's significant relationships, thereby compounding and extending the reach of the stressful experience. Offering an important theoretical perspective on the significance of attachment to the healing process, the book outlines a sequenced treatment approach and specific strategies and techniques to help couples rework and recover from the devastating effects of past trauma."--Christine A. Courtois, PhD, The CENTER: Posttraumatic Disorders Program, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington; author of Healing the Incest Wound and Recollections of Sexual Abuse

"Johnson offers a highly engaging and readable approach for clinicians working with couples affected by trauma. Her brilliant synthesis, based on extensive scholarship and a depth of clinical experience, applies to couples dealing with childhood trauma as well as those mired in past hurts from the relationship itself. Regardless of theoretical orientation, clinicians will learn much that they can apply to help in their most difficult couple cases."--Karen S. Wampler, PhD, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Tech University

Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis

"A well balanced book....A very informative book. It held my attention from cover to cover....Johnson ably demonstrated how the couple can be both worked with therapeutically to ameliorate psychological distress and cause the exasperation of distress....Johnson's EFT has most definitely brought another level of awareness, when working with traumatized clients, to the therapeutic table."--Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis
Journal of Trauma Practice

"A significant addition to the trauma treatment literature....Case examples are vivid, interesting, and tackle complex issues. Interventions are similarly detailed and well described....Recommended to all therapists working with couples where one or both members of the couple have suffered trauma."--Journal of Trauma Practice
Relationship Research News

"[Johnson] is an experienced clinician and a gifted writer. Individuals interested in adult attachment processes and the impact of trauma on either individual or relationship functioning, and clinicians committed to intervening with trauma survivors from either an individual or couple perspective, will find this book an invaluable resource."--Relationship Research News
From The Critics
Johnson (a psychologist) argues for the value of couple therapy in the recovery of individual trauma survivors, as well as in the strengthening of the relationship as a whole. She outlines a systematic intervention approach designed to modify the interactional patterns that maintain traumatic stress and foster positive emotional bonds. The book combines theoretical innovations, evidence-based techniques, and the lessons of Johnson's own clinical experience. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This book focuses on providing the reader with pertinent and highly valuable systematic treatment approaches in working with couples and trauma related issues within the relationship.
Purpose: The purpose is to integrate the recent research on adult attachment, discuss the latest links between attachment and healing, enhance our understanding of the nature of traumatic stress, and promote the clinical interventions needed for couples therapy. The focus of this book is to integrate the relationship the individual suffering from PTSD has with their partner rather than the traditional individual focus on the patient alone. The overall intent of this book is tremendous and the goals are successfully accomplished.
Audience: "The book is written for students and clinicians of psychology, psychiatry, nursing, and social work. More specifically, couple and family therapists and trauma specialists will find this book to be quite a valuable asset. This book is easily adaptable for graduate level teaching and a solid resource for clinicians. The author is undeniably credible and an authority in her field. "
Features: The book is well-designed and walks the reader through the current theory and research on PTSD and trauma, provides a strong discussion of assessment and intervention issues and then delves into actual couples therapy. The case examples are supported by the author's insights and knowledge and the appropriate literature. Readers will find the chapters on defeating an anxiety disorder and marital distress, relationship traumas, and therapists who deal with dragons to be especially enlightening. The book is solidly written and a true pleasure to read.
Assessment: This beautifully written book encompasses the issues involved in couples therapy with trauma survivors. The material is highly relevant, easy to implement, and a strong source of information for clinicans and researchers. Undoubtedly one of the best books on couples therapy in quite some time.
Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis
"A well balanced book....A very informative book. It held my attention from cover to cover....Johnson ably demonstrated how the couple can be both worked with therapeutically to ameliorate psychological distress and cause the exasperation of distress....Johnson's EFT has most definitely brought another level of awareness, when working with traumatized clients, to the therapeutic table."—Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis
From the Publisher
"Most therapists nowadays take for granted the obvious relevance of couple therapy for ruptures of relationship bonds. But what is unique about this book is the vivid and vital way in which Johnson reveals the power of couple relationships to help heal trauma originally experienced by individuals outside those relationships. I hope this book will launch a new era in the psychotherapeutic treatment of PTSD and related disorders. It's that good."—Alan S. Gurman, PhD, University of Wisconsin Medical School

"With the increasing recognition that many couples 'problems are related to the traumas of one or both partners comes the need for a new framework for understanding and doing couple therapy. This book succeeds brilliantly in providing such a framework. Skillfully integrating aspects of attachment theory, traumatology, and emotion-focused couple therapy, Susan Johnson enriches each of these fields while also providing practical guidelines for both beginning and seasoned clinicians. This book represents an important advance in the treatment of couples and of trauma survivors. I will be recommending it to all my students and colleagues."—Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Center for Self Leadership, Oak Park, IL

"This book is a major advance in the treatment of traumatized individuals and their partners, and a much-needed resource for clinicians. Dr. Johnson clearly shows how the experience of any kind of trauma can resonate in an individual's significant relationships, thereby compounding and extending the reach of the stressful experience. Offering an important theoretical perspective on the significance of attachment to the healing process, the book outlines a sequenced treatment approach and specific strategies and techniques to help couples rework and recover from the devastating effects of past trauma."—Christine A. Courtois, PhD, The CENTER: Posttraumatic Disorders Program, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington; author of Healing the Incest Wound and Recollections of Sexual Abuse

"Johnson offers a highly engaging and readable approach for clinicians working with couples affected by trauma. Her brilliant synthesis, based on extensive scholarship and a depth of clinical experience, applies to couples dealing with childhood trauma as well as those mired in past hurts from the relationship itself. Regardless of theoretical orientation, clinicians will learn much that they can apply to help in their most difficult couple cases."—Karen S. Wampler, PhD, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Tech University

Journal of Trauma Practice
"A significant addition to the trauma treatment literature....Case examples are vivid, interesting, and tackle complex issues. Interventions are similarly detailed and well described....Recommended to all therapists working with couples where one or both members of the couple have suffered trauma."—Journal of Trauma Practice
Relationship Research News
"[Johnson] is an experienced clinician and a gifted writer. Individuals interested in adult attachment processes and the impact of trauma on either individual or relationship functioning, and clinicians committed to intervening with trauma survivors from either an individual or couple perspective, will find this book an invaluable resource."—Relationship Research News

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593851651
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Guilford Family Therapy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 275,872
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Susan M. Johnson, EdD, is Professor of Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute, Ottawa, Canada. Widely published, she is the main proponent of emotionally focused couple and family therapy, which she teaches extensively in North America and internationally. In 2005, she received the Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research Award from the American Family Therapy Academy. The website for Dr. Johnson's work is www.eft.ca.
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Table of Contents


I. Trauma in Context: Healing in Attachment Relationships
1. Healing Connections: Expanding the Role of Couple Therapy
2. Trauma and Its Aftermath
3. Attachment and Trauma
4. Assessment
5. Interventions
II. Clinical Realities: Couple Therapy with Traumatized Couples
6. Couple Therapy to Create a Secure Base for the Treatment of Trauma
7. Defeating an Anxiety Disorder and Marital Distress
8. The Trauma of Physical Illness
9. Couple Therapy with Combat Veterans, Lyn Williams Keeler and Susan M. Johnson
10. Relationship Traumas: Attachment Injuries in Close Relationships
11. Therapists Who Deal with Dragons
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