Attachment in Psychotherapy

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This eloquent book translates attachment theory and research into an innovative framework that grounds adult psychotherapy in the facts of childhood development. Advancing a model of treatment as transformation through relationship, the author integrates attachment theory with neuroscience, trauma studies, relational psychotherapy, and the psychology of mindfulness. Vivid case material illustrates how therapists can tailor interventions to fit the attachment needs of their patients, thus helping them to generate the internalized secure base for which their early relationships provided no foundation. Demonstrating the clinical uses of a focus on nonverbal interaction, the book describes powerful techniques for working with the emotional responses and bodily experiences of patient and therapist alike.

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent Resource for Clinicans
    This book is an excellent resource for clinicians. Dr. Wallin does an excellent job of interweaving clinical case examples with attachment theory from Bowlby to Fonagy. His wit and unflinching commitment to self examination make this a deep yet accessible read for the psychodynamically-inclined therapist....more info
  • Awesome and must have for professionals
    Attachment in Psychotherapy

    David Wallin has taken the wonderful, albeit, at times ponderous research of Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main and Fonagy and makes it palatable and useful in the practice of psychotherapy. Wallin connects the dots from childhood separation/distress on through the discomforts of adult behavior to patterns predicted to evolve in the children raised by attachment frustrated adults. He also brings a refreshing take on "mindfulness" and "presence" in the psychotherapeutic space, conducting one of the most helpful and lucid explanations I've ever seen on how meditation and a mindfulness based stance in counseling makes possible breakthrough experiences for both patient and practicitioner. Avoiding the mysticism sometimes clouding Buddhist psychology, Wallin takes only a few personal case examples from his Mill Valley, CA practice to make extrordinarily clear how mindfulness based psychotherapy provides a safe and encouraging arena in which adults may find the opportunity to experience the intimacy and solid ground that were lost to them since childhood. If you are practicing psychotherapy, get this book. Better yet, catch Wallin on the lecture circuit. ...more info
  • Attachment in Psychotherapy
    This is an excellent book! It brings together so many aspects of psychology--attachment, early infant relationships, adult relationships, and neuropsychology. It is easy to read and very engaging. I highly recommend it for any practitioner looking to help their less-than-securely attached clients....more info
  • Reality Trumps Fantasy
    For psychotherapists, like myself, who are persuaded that the reality of the of the actual forms of attachment that infants and toddlers have to their caregivers trumps psychoanalystic notions (e.g. Melanie Klein) that the child's internal fantasies are more determinative of healthy or pathological development, David Wallin's book will be a welcome tonic. He has engagingly described three paradigmatic deformations of attachment that lead to three kinds of character impairment -- the Dismissing Patient, the Preoccupied Patient and the Unresolved Patient, and provides stimulating vignettes from his practice to indicate the nature of what is wounded and damaged in each, followed by various kinds of interpretive diaglogues, and "ways of being" of the therapist that tend to foster constructive personality change. Finally, he is one of a growing number of psychotherapists to incorporate Buddhist teachings (particularly the use of mindfulness meditation) into his clinical practice with what appears to be encouraging results. His book is eminently readable and even when I disagreed with some of Dr. Wallin's ideas, they were always thought-provoking, and in the service of a more enlightened and effective psychotherapy....more info
  • Innovation in Psychotherapeutic Technique: An Integration
    In his new book, David Wallin displays an extraordinarily versatile command of information derived from a wide variety of disciplines which are interimplicated in his integrative work on contemporary psychotherapeutic theory and technique.Dr. Wallin's articulate description of the attachment theory tradition, followed by his skillful elaboration of the impact of specific kinds of early attachment interactions on the development of the experience of self, set up his clear analysis of the clinical ramifications of what the therapist is likely to encounter while working. His emphasis on the co-construction of experience in the therapeutic encounter and the centrality of nonverbal communication, as well as, his thoughts about how to work with these clinical phenomena make this theoretically eloquent book also very practical.As David Wallin demonstrates with his many poignant vignettes, when the going gets rough, the respectful tentativeness with which he attempts to offer a different experience to people who have had their ability to trust and hope shredded is moving. The academic rigor, coupled with the warmth and contactfulness which his work conveys, is impressive....more info
  • What makes us Human
    As a clinician I bought Dr. Wallin's book to deepen my understanding of attachment and its central role in what shapes us as human beings. I hoped that it would increase my effectiveness as a therapist. I was not disappointed. This book integrates attachment theory, the latest research on the workings of the brain with respect to attachment and self regulation, and perhaps most significantly of all includes the centrality of mindfulness not only as necessary for internal health and freedom, but in the therapeutic relationship as well. I was moved both professionally and personally by Dr. Wallin's ability to do all this and show us his humanity, his own struggle with being present in his work with his clients.
    His book is a rich resource - Im on my second reading.. and recommend it both to professionals and to those readers interested in understanding attachment, the brain and mindfulness....more info
  • Making therapy more human and vulnerable.
    David Wallin has performed a great service for psychotherapists in his book. With insight and academic excellence he has filled in many of the blanks about how attachment theory applies in psychotherapy and how it can be applied within the therapeutic session. He explains the types of attachment clearly while giving directions on how to work with each type in therapy. His examples from his own work with clients gives the reader concrete understanding of the applications and implications of this work. In particular, Dr. Wallin clearly describes the interrelations and interconnectedness of therapist and client. He explains how this relationship can be the core of effective therapy as well as how to access the conscious and unconscious cues and understandings which make one a more effective helper. This is the story of how the therapist can deepen and use his or her sensitive understandings in a compassionate and effective manner for the client. I highly recommend this book for any therapist who wishes to be more effective in assisting clients to become personally empowered. The client learns how to create more internal, emotional space in order to use thoughts and feelings to create an effective and compassionate life....more info
  • relevant , insightful and timely
    This is an extraordinary book, both in terms of its content and the form in which that content is delivered. It is the most readable, clear, and accessible account I know of concerning the relationship between childhood development and the psychological development in adulthood that therapy aims to encourage. In making bridges between the original attachment relationships in childhood and the new attachment in psychotherapy, the Dr. Wallin brings in studies of neuroscience, trauma, and mindfulness. In so doing he clarifies how therapy actually works. I believe this is a book of enormous value for therapists, and those working in psychodynamic fields such as counsellors and staff development speicialists. Wallin discusses his work with patients in a self-revealing and thoughtful way that gives a sense of the complexity and challenge of the work of a therapist. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • Outstanding Text
    Wallin took me on an unforgettable journey. The author brings the reader up to speed on the history of attachment theory which prepares one for where he will take you. With an engaging writing style he applies attachment theory to the psychotherapy process. He doesn't try to sell the reader on any one type of therapeutic approach he masterfully helps you understand that attachment issues may be alive and well in many of the clients we work with. As I continued on this journey my positive impression of the book only increased. As I thumb back through the pages there are underlines and markings on nearly every page. From my perspective this is a must read text for those who have found or are searching for the deeper levels of understanding in the therapeutic process both for the client and therapist. Many popular therapeutic approaches attempt to simplify the process and many of us are left wanting. Wallin explores areas of therapy that can truly be healing for all involved. An appropriate level of theory and research is combined with important application making for a book satisfying to read. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • You really should read this book if you're interested in contemporary attachment theory.
    I'm a doctoral student in clinical psych and I loved this book. While it somewhat deepened my depth of knowledge concerning attachment in psychotherapy, moreso it does an excellent job of showing how it directly relates to what you actually do in a session. It's coverage of and relavence to the current analytic climate (e.g. relational psychoanalysis/intersubjectivity theory) is excellent and supplemented by a thorough discussion of the current empirical evidence coming to our field via related fields (e.g. neuropsych research, cognitive science, etc.). I would recommend this book to any student as part of their graduate training in clinical psych or as an accompanying text to a graduate level psychodynamic or developmental course. ...more info
  • Covers the field of AT
    This is an outstanding collection by the main thinkers in AT and a must reference for anyone working in the field. It is not always easy reading but a more overall coverage of the subect from start to present will be hard to find....more info
  • Serious, thoughtful, and accessible
    David Wallin's book is a scholarly integration of the newest research in neurobiology, attachment theory, and mindfulness practice. For therapists and patients, it provides an accessible approach using the best of current knowledge about what underlies the creation of inner well-being. Dr. Wallin describes in an authentic, and courageous, way how a therapist can recognize his or her impact in the therapeutic relationship and use that understanding to further the treatment process. What is distinctive here is the absolute focus on what will be beneficial to the patient. Using this focus as the guideline in the therapeutic relationship is what is healing: For the patient to be able to come to trust that the therapist will always act in the patient's best interest to the best of the therapist's ability. ...more info


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