1st Edition

Adult Attachment Patterns in a Treatment Context Relationship and narrative

By Sarah Daniel Copyright 2015
    188 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    188 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Attachment theory posits that the need for attachment is a life-long phenomenon that becomes especially relevant in times of crisis or trauma. When adults experience illness, accidents, assaults, psychological difficulties or losses, their attachment-behavioural systems are activated, motivating them to seek help and support from family and friends and/or from helping professionals. However, the resulting request for help is affected and shaped by earlier experiences regarding the support and trustworthiness of attachment figures. Can others be trusted? Is it safe to show vulnerability? How should one behave to increase the likelihood of receiving the help needed?

    Adult Attachment Patterns in a Treatment Context provides an integrated introduction to the subject of adult attachment. Research into adult attachment patterns offers professional helpers a theoretically sound insight into the dynamics underlying a range of client behaviours, including some of the more puzzling and frustrating behaviours such as denying obvious pain or continually pushing the professional for more personal involvement. Sarah Daniel shows how applying knowledge of attachment patterns to treatment settings will improve the way in which professionals engage with clients and the organization of treatments. This book will be relevant to a range of helping professionals such as psychotherapists, psychologists and social workers, both in practice and in training.

    Part I: Adult Attachment Patterns and Treatment Relationships. Adult Attachment Patterns. Attachment and Treatment Relationships. Part II: Relational and Narrative Characteristics of Attachment Patterns. Secure Attachment. Avoidant Attachment. Ambivalent Attachment. Disorganized Attachment. Part III: Attachment Patterns and Treatment Practice. Assessment of Client Attachment Patterns. Adapting Treatment ’Style’. Attachment Patterns as the Focus of Treatment. Final Considerations. Appendix: The Patient Attachment Classification System.


    Sarah I.F. Daniel is a clinical psychologist, and she is currently employed as associate professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.

    "With this excellent book on adult attachment patterns, and their profound relevance to the psychotherapeutic process, Sarah Daniel has earned her stripes! This book holds its own, and advances the story, in respect of others who have illuminated the clinical relevance of attachment theory and research (including Brisch, Eagle, Fonagy, Holmes, Slade, and Wallin). For therapists working with individuals, couples, groups or families, in training or in practice for extensive periods, there is much to be gained from reading this coherent and inspiring book. Those who do so will come away with an enriched understanding of emotion-regulation, loss and trauma from an attachment perspective that has far-reaching clinical, lifespan, and intergenerational implications."- Howard Steele, PhD, Professor of Psychology, New School for Social Research

    "A superb resource for clinicians. For those new to attachment theory, the text provides an accessible and concise introduction, filled with practical suggestions. For those already familiar with the basics, the later chapters provide a wealth of information drawing from the latest research and new advancements in attachment theory. Professor Daniel has a gift for bridging the gap between theory and clinical application. This book realizes much of the tremendous potential at the interaction of attachment theory, social cognitive development, affect regulation, and understanding of the psychotherapy relationship." - Brent Mallinckrodt, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    "This is an outstanding introduction to an attachment-based perspective on psychotherapy that will be relevant to therapists coming from diverse theoretical and professional backgrounds. Daniel does a superb job of translating insights emerging from the burgeoning fields of attachment theory and research into a sophisticated and clear-cut guide for adapting treatment in a fashion that is responsive to the distinct styles and needs of patients with different attachment patterns. An elegant synthesis of research findings with clinical expertise" - Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D., Chair & Professor of Psychology, The New School for Social Research