Most helpful positive review
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
An Exceptional Resource for Experienced Clinicians
on September 28, 2007
This slim volume offers a clear overview of the essentials of successful treatment with this very difficult population.
Trauma survivors frequently evince high levels of emotional pain, can be hostile and controlling in their attachment interactions, have difficulty trusting their partners, and have high needs for reassurance and emotional security. It is not uncommon for trauma survivors to have histories of early attachment disorganization that, even in adulthood, result in high levels of emotional reactivity, suspicion, hostile attribution, revivification of early traumatic experience, affect dysregulation, deficits in metacognition, and low stress tolerance. These characteristics seriously hinder the formation of secure attachment bonds in adult romantic relationships and present a therapeutic mine field for both the couple and therapist.
Johnson clarifies the underlying issues inherent in the couple dynamics of trauma survivors and describes how she models affective attunement, empathic mirroring, and guides the couple into safe mutual emotional disclosure and responsiveness.
Other reviewers have criticized this book for its dry academic style and lack of accessiblity. Because of this there may be better volumes for those who seek to learn the fundamentals of couple therapy or for those who want to learn the basics of working with trauma survivors. However, for the experienced clinician Johnson provides a concise guide that pinpoints precise clinical leverage points and a theoretically coherent rationale for specific interventions.
Johnson's approach is theoretically and empirically grounded and is written with compassion, sensitivity, and clarity. It is the best resource I've found for this important treatment niche.