Restoring Mentalizing in Attachment Relationships: Treating Trauma With Plain Old Therapy

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In Restoring Mentalizing in Attachment Relationships: Treating Trauma With Plain Old Therapy, Jon G. Allen, Ph.D., argues that the incorporation of mentalizing into attachment theory and research provides a solid foundation for trauma treatment, and offers therapists and patients a pathway to recovery. In plain language accessible to clinicians and laypeople alike, Allen describes trauma in attachment relationships, reviews the literature, and makes a compelling, evidence-based argument for the efficacy of psychotherapy. Specifically, the book: • Presents a comprehensive view of attachment trauma across diverse diagnostic conditions, directly linking these to the psychotherapeutic interventions that work best.• Allows therapists from different theoretical frameworks, by using these best practices, to treat patients with a wide range of problems and disorders.• Situates mindfulness and mentalizing as central to secure attachment, focusing clinicians' attention on these most critical dimensions of healing relationships.• Provides a thorough review of the research on attachment, mindfulness, and mentalizing, and evaluates the effectiveness of the most popular trauma treatments, thereby equipping clinicians to treat patients across the spectrum of trauma-related psychiatric disorders.• Employs a down-to-earth, conversational writing style that makes the book accessible to patients and family members as well as to professionals.

Trauma can be the result of blatant events, such as violence, abuse, and neglect, or the subtle yet pervasive failure to connect. Both contribute to developmental psychopathology and cause lasting emotional pain. "Plain old therapy," according to Allen, is a valuable and proven resource for addressing trauma and treating patients with complex psychiatric disorders. This fascinating and eminently useful book should help to restore psychotherapy to its well-deserved stature.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Based on years of clinical and practical experience working with traumatized patients, the author has developed an approach to treatment which is meant to simplify, and thus make more accessible, psychological treatment for individuals suffering from trauma.
Purpose: Though reasonably well versed in the many forms of treatment proposed for individuals who have suffered from trauma, the author attempts to encourage readers to return to the fundamentals of working in this population, namely the importance of "strengthening the capacity for secure attachment" in relationships.
Audience: Though practically useful for those who have experienced trauma, the target audience for this work is practicing mental health clinicians who address the various psychological sequelae related to trauma in adults and children.
Features: While the book has some diagrams and tables, there are far more case examples which prove to be both more relevant and revealing. Each chapter ends with a section of key points and the book concludes with a long list (about 20 pages) of pertinent and updated references.
Assessment: Many books have been penned about diagnosis and treatment of those with traumatic histories. Similarly, many types of treatment for those with traumatic experiences have been developed and validated over the last decade, especially in the returning veteran population. And while this author does not attempt to minimize or debunk any of these modalities, he argues effectively for a more basic, fundamental approach centered on helping traumatized individuals develop more secure relationships. His assertion is that aiding patients in establishing healthier, safe relationships allows them to increase the likelihood of being better equipped to regulate various types of emotional stress. His arguments are persuasive and are certainly worth the time to review, although some of the concepts may be difficult to grasp without experience in the field.
Therapy Today April 2013 Andrew Barley

This is without question the most exciting therapy book I have read in years….By sifting, sorting and synthesizing the breadth of different therapeutic approaches, Allen delivers a brilliant book about trauma written with a common touch that will leave your brain fizzing. I cannot recommend it enough.

Andrew Barley
This is without question the most exciting therapy book I have read in years….By sifting, sorting and synthesizing the breadth of different therapeutic approaches, Allen delivers a brilliant book about trauma written with a common touch that will leave your brain fizzing. I cannot recommend it enough.

(Therapy Today April 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585624188
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/12/2012
  • Pages: 325
  • Sales rank: 1,059,440
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon G. Allen, Ph.D., is a Senior Staff Psychologist and holds the Helen Malsin Palley Chair in Mental Health Research at The Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas. He is Professor of Psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Allen has authored and coauthored numerous professional articles and book chapters on trauma-related problems, psychotherapy, the therapeutic alliance, hospital treatment, and psychological assessment.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Foreword. Preface. Introduction. Part I: Attachment Trauma and Psychiatric Disorders. Attachment, mentalizing, and trauma. Posttraumatic stress and dissociative disorders. Complex traumatic stress disorders. Part II: Treatment and Healing. Evidence-based treatments. Plain old therapy. Existential-spiritual perspectives. References. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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