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Traumatic Relationships and Serious Mental Disorders / Edition 1

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Mental, physical, or sexual abuse in close personal relationships commonly results in trauma that is very different from the trauma os accidents, illness, or war. Little is more intellectually challenging, emotionally demanding, and difficult than therapeutic work with survivors of such traumatic personal relationships and those close to them.
This book provides psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and counsellors with a powerful conceptual framework and a concise, masterly review of a huge knowledge base that will support and guide treatment and prevention programmes for these serious problems. This volume:

  • synthesises extensive clinical experience with a comprehensive review of the clinical and research literature
  • presents a unique developmental perspective informed by attachment theory, while integrating key aspects of evolutionary, neurobiological, cognitive behavioural, interpersonal, and psychodynamic concepts
  • explains not only how trauma creates extreme distress in the patient, particularly as manifested in PTSD, but also how it undermines the individual's ability to cope with such distress
  • delineates the significant contribution of trauma to other serious disorders, including dissociative disturbances, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, and personality disorders
The key elements of successful interventions are the engagement and motivation of the patient. This book provides therapists with the framework, knoledge base, and practical guidelines for educating patients and those close to them about the nature of traauma, its consequences, and treaatment. The author presents in detail his own "tried and tested" education-based interventions. This book will be an immensely valuable resource for practitioners and academics working ina ll therapeutic traditions.
"This excellent book achieves rare success in synthesising academic scholarship and sound clinical principles in understanding and treating disorders relating to trauma. Allen's conceptual clarity and masterful use of narratrive, makes coherent those disorders characterised by incoherence. Equally clinician and teacher, he shows how containment and care, self-regulation and support can mend the wounds inflicted by attachment trauma."
Antonia Bifulco, Ph.D.
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
well-researched and insightful book..overwhelmed by the powerful conceptual framework...comprehensive and concise review of a huge knowledge base contained in this book" ( 21.8.2001)

"Allen should receive particular praise...some very interesting material" (Mental Health Today, October 2001)

"...clear structure, being well written, and adopting the simple but effective use of subheadings and italics for emphasis...this excellent book is not only worth buying but also worth reading..." (British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 10 December 2001)

"...This book is well written and easy to use...." (Addiction Today, January 2002)

"His approach to diagnostics, treatment and management is extremely well organized for any seeking clinician." (Metapsychology Reviews Online, July 2002)

"This is an interesting book which raises some important issues…" (European Eating Disorders Review, March/April 2003)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471485544
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/26/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 486
  • Product dimensions: 6.71 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures.

About the Author.

Foreword—Peter Fonagy.



A Developmental Approach to Trauma.

Trauma in Attachment Relationships.

Attachment, Relationships, and Reenactment.

The Traumatized Self.


PTSD and Traumatic Memories.

Trauma as Chronic Physical Illness.

Dissociative Detachment and Compartmentalization.

Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, and Self-Harm.

Post-Traumatic Depression.

Post-Traumatic Personality Disorders.


Containing Trauma.

Narrating Trauma.

Psychoeducational Approaches.

Therapists At Risk.



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