Treating Attachment Disorders, Second Edition: From Theory to Therapy / Edition 2

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Organized around extended case illustrations-and grounded in cutting-edge theory and research-this highly regarded book shows how an attachment perspective can inform psychotherapeutic practice with patients of all ages. Karl Heinz Brisch explores the links between early experiences of separation, loss, and trauma and a range of psychological, behavioral, and psychosomatic problems. He demonstrates the basic techniques of attachment-based assessment and intervention, emphasizing the healing power of the therapeutic relationship. With a primary focus on treating infants and young children and their caregivers, the book discusses applications of attachment-based psychotherapy over the entire life course. New to This Edition Incorporates advances in research on neurobiology, genetics, and psychotraumatology. Expanded with a section on inpatient treatment for traumatized children, including in-depth cases. Describes two promising prevention programs for expectant couples, families, and young children. The latest knowledge on disorganized attachment, attachment disorders, and assessments.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

  "An exceptionally rich account of how attachment theory may be used to guide treatment methods."--Michael Rutter, MD, Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, United Kingdom

"This second edition is an essential resource for clinicians, scholars, students, and all others seeking a fuller understanding of attachment disorders across the lifespan and how to treat them. Brisch wisely agrees with other leading authorities that ‘holding therapy’ is wrongheaded and irreconcilable with attachment theory. But how then should the serious emotional and behavioral troubles that typify the notion of attachment disorders be treated? For what is arguably the best and most comprehensive, research-based, and sensitive answer to date, read Brisch!"--Howard Steele, PhD, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, New School for Social Research

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

"I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the application of attachment theory for any client group. There is something for everyone here and much to provoke thought and further discussion."--Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Psychologist-Psychoanalyst APA Division 39 Newsletter

"A useful, unpretentious, and eminently readable book. The theory, research, and case material addressed in it are crucial to consider for those interested in reflective, honest, and effective clinical practice."--Psychologist-Psychoanalyst APA Division 39 Newsletter
Choice Reviews
"Brisch's outstanding integration of John Bowlby's theory of attachment and analytic practice is fascinating to read....Highly recommended. Upper-division graduates and above."--Choice Reviews
Psychologist-Psychoanalyst Newsletter
"A useful, unpretentious, and eminently readable book. The theory, research, and case material addressed in it are crucial to consider for those interested in reflective, honest, and effective clinical practice."--Psychologist-Psychoanalyst Newsletter (on the first edition)
Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

"This is a wonderful textbook for any one treating children with attachment disorders, particularly if involved in individual psychotherapy."--Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"The author presents a clear summary of the basic tenets of attachment theory and its theoretical and empirical development....It is then possible for the reader to engage in the author's case illustrations of how knowledge of attachment dynamics can usefully influence a diverse range of psychotherapeutic work."--Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
International Journal of Psychoanalysis

"Treating Attachment Disorders is delightfully readable....The reader is quickly drawn into the cases, all of which are interesting and pertinent to clinical practice....[Brisch] offers much for both the novice clinician, for whom learning to establish a secure base is crucial, and for experienced ones who want to integrate attachment theory into their work. Child therapists, in particular, will find many valuable insights....Treating Attachment Disorders is an important and very timely book that shows how understanding attachment and keeping it in mind can immeasurably enrich one's clinical experience."--International Journal of Psychoanalysis (on previous edition)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462504831
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 369
  • Sales rank: 278,964
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Karl Heinz Brisch, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychotherapist, as well as an adult psychiatrist and neurologist and a specialist in psychosomatic medicine; a training psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute in Stuttgart, Germany; and head of the Department of Pediatric Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany. Dr. Brisch’s primary research is on the development of infants and children with high-risk conditions and the development of attachment and its disorders. He has led longitudinal research projects on attachment disturbances and early psychotherapeutic interventions. He is a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health and of the Society for Research in Child Development, and is president of the German branch of the German-Speaking Association for Infant Mental Health. His website is

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Table of Contents

Foreword, Lotte Köhler
I. Attachment Theory and Its Basic Concepts
II. Attachment Disorders
III. Attachment-Based Psychotherapy
IV. Treatment Cases from Clinical Practice
V. Treatment of Early Childhood Developmental Disorders in an Inpatient Intensive Psychotherapy Unit: A New Model of Treatment
VI. Prospects for Further Application
Afterword, Inge Bretherton
Appendix: Brief Précis of the Adult Attachment Interview Protocol

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