Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors: Strengthening Attachment Bonds

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors: Strengthening Attachment Bonds

Article excerpt

SUSAN M. JOHNSON: Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors: Strengthening Attachment Bonds. New York: Guilford Press, 2002, 228 pp., $30.00, ISBN 1-57230-735-8.

Among the many trauma-oriented therapy books that have appeared lately, only a few are oriented towards couples and how trauma in one partner affects the other partner. In this book, Johnson expands the role of couple therapy to where one partner has suffered a traumatic experience.

In Part I, trauma and its aftermath, attachment and trauma, assessment, and the author's own brand of emotionally focused interventions are introduced. In Part II, illustrative case studies show how to proceed by furnishing a "secure" base for the treatment of trauma, defeating anxiety disorders and marital distress, trauma of physical illness, combat experiences of veterans (with Lyn Williams Keeler), attachment injuries in close relationships, and dealing with the dragons of past traumas.

This book, of course, is directed to therapists who need more experience with traumatized partners in couples and how to help the non-traumatized partner deal with it.

There are two issues that concern this reviewer, a theoretical and a practical one. Johnson puts all of her theoretical eggs in the now-fashionable attachment model basket, interpreting all cases in terms of threats to present attachments, especially the couple's. …

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