Attachment Processes in Couple and Family Therapy

Attachment Processes in Couple and Family Therapy

Attachment Processes in Couple and Family Therapy

Attachment Processes in Couple and Family Therapy

Synopsis

"This volume presents cutting-edge approaches to couple and family therapy that use attachment theory as the basis for new clinical understandings. Fresh and provocative insights are provided on the nature of interactions between adult partners and among parents and children; the role of attachment in distressed and satisfying relationships; and the ways attachment-oriented interventions can address individual problems as well as marital conflict and difficult family transitions. With contributions from leading clinicans and researchers, the book offers both general strategies and specific techniques for helping clients build stronger, more supportive relational bonds. This book will enhance the work of practitioners, researchers, and students in couple and family therapy, psychology, psychiatry, clinical social work, and nursing. It is an informative text for graduate-level courses on attachment theory and couple and family treatment." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book originated with a research conference sponsored by the American Family Therapy Association (AFTA) in October 2000 in Niagara on the Lake in Ontario, Canada. At this conference, developmental and social psychologists, who had studied and extended Bowlby's attachment theory over the last 30 years, interacted with couple and family therapists. This book is, in a sense, an attempt to continue that dialogue. It also had its roots in the shared dialogues and stories of hundreds of clients who, in the way they describe their realities and relationships, constantly remind us of the tangible significance of attachment theory for people's everyday lives and interactions.

This book reflects that couple and family therapy as a discipline is entering a new era. In the past, couple and family therapy has been thought of as a technique in search of a theory. We believe what has been missing is a coherent, rich, and researchable theory of love and bonding. We suggest that attachment theory, at last, can begin to fill this gap. In this new era, attachment theory, together with research on basic responses and patterns of interaction in distressed as well as satisfying relationships, and research on the impact of specific interventions, offer the therapist a guide to the terrain of primary relationships and how to transform them.

Although John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, was a reserved Englishman, he was also a rebel who defied his analytic training and insisted that reality is defined not just in the minds and fantasies of individuals but also in compelling interactions with significant others. He learned from such figures as Konrad Lorenz, who studied imprinting; Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, the father of systems theory; and Harry Harlow, who studied primates and their need for soothing contact and comfort from significant others. Bowlby believed love was the crowning achievement of human evolution; we believe he has something of profound significance to say to . . .

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