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Attachment and Adult Psychotherapy Hardcover – November 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


This is a lucid exposition of John Bowlby's theory of attachment and its implications for clinical practice, with a comprehensive review of recent research and theory derived from Bowlby's work. Both the discussion of the diagnostic significance of early attachment experiences, and suggestions on how to use attachment theory in practice are wise, insightful, and profoundly important. (Peter Marris, Yale University, author of The Politics of Uncertainty: Attachment in Private and Public Life)

Despite its huge influence within psychology and child development, attachment theory has made slow inroads in the world of psychotherapy with adults. One of Bowlby's early American collaborators, Pat Sable has been working in this field for thirty years, and has at last produced the book her friends and colleagues have been waiting for. Sable is the perfect Bowlbian: her calm, trustworthy, unpretentious yet scholarly voice comes through in every page of this immensely readable volume. She takes the reader through the main areas of psychotherapeutic work, showing first how attachment theory can illuminate existing theory, and then offering vivid and compassionate case histories, in which the basic attachment features of consistency, attunement, and availability are equal in therapeutic importance to the specific interventions that brand name therapies love to claim as the mutative ingredient. This is a book for students and advanced practitioners alike, and one that no open-minded contemporary psychotherapist can afford to be without. (Jeremy Holmes, M.D., FRCPsych, author of Attachment, Intimacy, Autonomy)

Attachment theory is now the dominant model of human development available to science, and yet the clinical applications of the theory have remained elusive. Here Pat Sable, a longtime Bowlby scholar, masterfully presents relevant clinical research and case vignettes to effectively demonstrate how attachment principles can elucidate the essential affective processes that operate in a number of psychotherapeutic contexts and a variety of psychiatric disorders. (Allan N. Schore PhD, UCLA, Los Angeles School of Medicine)

About the Author

Pat Sable, Ph.D., is Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. She also maintains a private psychotherapy practice.

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