Complex concepts are carefully elucidated and brilliantly illustrated with clinical examples. This book is an important reference for all clinicians and students. It is a vital resource for those who are interested in how progress in our understanding of attachment processes may be applied in a clinical context. Wallin has written an extremely insightful, broadly integrative, clinically applicable, and highly engaging book.

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May 18, Morgan Blackledge rated it it was amazing Masterwork!!! Game changer!!! I super love this book!!! Author David J Wallin writes about relational psychotherapy with rigorous honesty, big heart and perspicacious intellect. This book was a revelation for me. And the timing could not have been better.

Providing therapy particularly in our current system can be a bit of a burnout. Burnout stifles curiosity, and kills the drive to reach beyond those tired, tried and true therapy tricks we all resort to in times of ragged desperation. The clarity Masterwork!!! The clarity of thought, and more importantly the authors total commitment to the subject, startled me back to the vital remembrance that sharp intellect, attuned presence, creativity, honed skill, authentic generosity and real wisdom are all mission critical to our sacred yet impossible profession.

Sometimes the cure for fatigue is not rest, but rather re-connecting with the things that enliven. This book gave me one of those jump starts. The book is written by a therapist David J. Wallin , for other therapists. But the special language and constructs used in the book are explained well. So it may also have value for a dedicated non therapist reader.

Essentially, the book is about how an explicit awareness of attachment dynamics can be utilized to foster corrective experiences in therapy and in relationships more broadly speaking.

If this sounds good. And if you can tolerate a little jargon explanations included than by all means read on: Attachment Theory: is a general explanation of how and why humans bond together in relationship. Attachment Styles: provide a simple taxonomy of the largely implicit strategies people use for connecting and reconnecting in relationship.

Attachment Dynamics: refer to the ways that the various attachment styles interact in relationships. Embeddedness: refers to the degree to which a person is fused with their own cognitive and emotional content. Conversely, we have all had the distinctly different experience of equanimity and emotional clarity, where we have been the curious open and accepting witness of our own thoughts and feelings.

Most of us are mostly embedded most of the time. But there are times when being cognitively entangled and emotionally reactive can lead to disastrous outcomes. And having the capacity to notice our thoughts and feelings, and differentiate from them can mean the difference between being a semi-somnambulant meat puppet and a free, wide awake adult.

The author offers Mindfulness and Meantalization as two pathways out of embeddedness. Mindfulness: refers to being explicitly aware and experientially present to the moment to moment arising and falling of sensations thoughts and feelings. Mentalization: refers to the ability to render your psychological processes in sufficiently clear thoughts and language. The author posits that mindfulness and mentalization enable us to wriggle out of the cocoon of embeddedness and become the woke, wild and free butterflies we were born to become.

Defenses: refer to the psychological strategies we adopt to protect ourselves from painful thoughts and feelings. Shame based identifications frequently occur in response to developmental trauma.

In other words: if you are abused and neglected as a young person, it is common to adopt the distorted belief that there is something fundamentally bad, broken or unlovable about you. Conversely, pride based counter identifications, and other similar defenses such as resistance and denial function to protect against shame based identifications.

In other words: sometimes people compensate for feelings of inadequacy or shame by adopting an equally distorted opposite posture. You know, all those other people who do that? Enactments: or re-enactments refer to the ways that our defenses and attachment dynamics play out in relationships with others. Everyone has had encounters with others that feel strangely tense, or unconscious, or straightjacketed. Corrective Experiences: refer to events in therapy, in which the client experiences a new, healthier, more spontaneous, more authentic way of being in relationship.

Corrective Experiences can eventually transform the way the the client feels and thinks about themselves. Perhaps more importantly, corrective experiences can transform the clients way of being in relationships. According to Wallin, providing corrective experiences is the point of relational psychotherapy, and an explicit mindful awareness, and clear mentalization of attachment dynamics on the part of the therapist is the key.

Consequently, we will fail to provide the corrective experience they are coming to therapy for. We need to provide them with something different. And the book speaks beautifully on precisely that subject. In closing: If I have somehow failed to convey that this is a great book, I have failed you. This is a crucial read.

Whether your a therapist or another kind of curious reader. Definitely give this book a go. Bonus Material: John Bowlby is the progenitor attachment theory. He, along with Marry Ainsworth and later Mary Main are the folks who are primarily responsible for attachment theory in its current form.

Establish a secure base: The therapist must create a safe, attuned atmosphere in the therapeutic relationship - first and foremost. Explore the attachment history: The therapist assists the client in exploring their relationship history, beginning in early life, with the goal of engendering insight and new perspectives.

Link past experiences to present: The therapist assists the client in identifying presidents for their attachment style, and importantly, how their attachment conditioning effects their current relationships. Revise internal working models: The therapist explores the conditioned implicit self and relational structures schema for CBT folks and assists in restructuring them in the direction of increase secure attachment. Provide a safe haven during times of distress: The therapist assists the client in co-regulation of difficult feelings, particularly during times of emotional distress.


The Applications of Attachment Theory to Psychotherapy

May 18, Morgan Blackledge rated it it was amazing Masterwork!!! Game changer!!! I super love this book!!! Author David J Wallin writes about relational psychotherapy with rigorous honesty, big heart and perspicacious intellect. This book was a revelation for me. And the timing could not have been better.


The Applications of Attachment Theory to Psychotherapy



Attachment in Psychotherapy


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