Attachment Theory and Psychosis: Current Perspectives and Future Directions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Attachment Theory and Psychosis

Current Perspectives and Future Directions, 1st Edition

Edited by Katherine Berry, Sandra Bucci, Adam N Danquah


288 pages

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pub: 2019-11-22
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Attachment and Psychosis: Current Perspectives and Future Directions is the first book to provide a practical guide to using attachment theory in the assessment, formulation and treatment of a range of psychological problems that can arise as a result of experiencing psychosis.

Katherine Berry, Sandra Bucci and Adam N. Danquah and an international selection of contributors expertly explore how attachment theory can inform theoretical understanding of the development of psychosis, psychological therapy and mental health practice with service users with psychosis. In the first section of the book, contributors describe the application of attachment theory to the understanding of paranoia, voice-hearing, negative symptoms, and relationship difficulties in psychosis. In the second section of the book, the contributors consider different approaches to working therapeutically with psychosis and demonstrate how these approaches draw on the key principles of attachment theory. In the final section, contributors address individual and wider organisation perspectives, including a voice-hearer perspective on formulating the relationship between voices and life history, how attachment principles can be used to organise the provision of mental health services, and the influence of mental health workers’ own attachment experiences on therapeutic work. The book ends by summarising current perspectives and highlighting future directions.

Written by leading mental health practitioners and researchers, covering a diverse range of professional backgrounds, topics and theroetical schools, this book is significant in guiding clinicians, managers and commissioners in how attachment theory can inform everyday practice. Attachment and Psychosis: Current Perspectives and Future Directions will be an invaluable resource for mental health professionals, especially psychologists and other clinicians focusing on humanistic treatments, as well as postgraduate students training in these areas.


"It’s a book that will make you think. Clinical researchers at the forefront of detailing how upbringing may influence psychosis provide a tour de force overview. Highly recommended." - Professor Daniel Freeman, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

Foreword by Max Birchwoof; Chapter 1: Introduction, Katherine Berry, Sandra Bucci and Adam N. Danquah; Part 1: Symtoms, functioning and aetiology; Chapter 2: The Specific Role of Insecure Attachment in Paranoid Delusions, Richard P. Bentall and Kasiatarzyna Sitko; Chapter 3: How Attachment Theory Can Develop Understandings Of, and Therapy For, Distressing Voices, Katherine Berry, John Read, Filippo Varese and Sandra Bucci; Chapter 4: Promoting Recovery from Negative Symptoms: An Attachment Theory Perspective, Hamish McLeod and Helen Griffiths; Chapter 5: Attachment and Social Functioning in Psychosis, Jasper E. Palmier-Claus, Nikie Korver-Nieberg, Anne-Kathrin Fett and Shannon Couture; Chapter 6: Parenting in Psychosis from an Attachment Perspective, Susanne Harder and Kristine Davidsen; Chapter 7: The Neurobiology of Attachment and Psychosis Risk: A Theoretical Integration, Benjamin K. Brent, Martin Debbané and Peter Fonagy; Part 2: Therapeutic approaches; Chapter 8: Bringing Together Psychodynamic and Attachment Perspectives on Psychosis, Alison Summers and Gwen Adshead; Chapter 9: Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy for Recovery in Psychosis, Dr Angus MacBeth, Professor Andrew Gumley and Professor Matthias Schwannauer; Chapter 10: Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) for Psychosis: Contrasts and Parallels with Attachment Theory and Implications for Practice, Dr Peter James Taylor and Dr Claire Seddon; Chapter 11: Attachment Themes in Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) for Psychosis, Charles Heriot-Maitland and Angela Kennedy; Chapter 12: Cultural Variations in Attachment and Psychosis: The Application of Attachment Theory to Inform Therapeutic Work with Black Caribbean Familie, Amy Degnan, Lucy Shattock and Dawn Edge; Part 3: Individual and organisational perspectives; Chapter 13: Making Sense of Voices: Perspectives from the Hearing Voices Movement, Eleanor Longden and Dirk Corstens; Chapter 14: How Can Attachment Theory Inform the Design and Delivery of Mental Health Services?, Sandra Bucci, Katherine Berry, Adam Danquah and Lucy Johnstone; Chapter 15: The Significance of the Clinician’s Felt Experience: Using Attachment Theory to Understand the Therapist’s Emotional Experience when Working with Someone with Psychosis, Max Linington; Chapter 16: Cross-cutting Themes and Future Directions, Katherine Berry, Adam Danquah and Sandra Bucci


About the Editors

Katherine Berry is a professor in clinical psychology at the University of Manchester, UK, and a clinical psychologist specialising in the field of psychosis. She has carried out extensive research into the psychological and social causes of psychosis and has published a large body of work on attachment theory over the past decade. She is co-editor of Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health with Adam N. Danquah (Routledge).

Sandra Bucci is a professor in clinical psychology at the University of Manchester, UK and Co-Director of the Complex Trauma and Resilience Research unit within Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Her research is focused on understanding the putative psychological mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of psychotic experiences.

Adam N. Danquah is a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, UK, and practicing clinical psychologist and psychodynamic psychotherapist. As well as attachment, his research and teaching focus on intercultural approaches and helping practitioners and practitioners in training deal with the impact of patient care.

About the Series

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis Book Series

ISPS (The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) has a history stretching back more than five decades, during which it has witnessed the relentless pursuit of biological explanations for psychosis. This tide has been turning in recent years and there is growing international interest in a range of psychological, social and cultural factors that have considerable explanatory traction and distinct therapeutic possibilities. Governments, professional groups, people with personal experience of psychosis and family members are increasingly exploring interventions that involve more talking and listening. Many now regard practitioners skilled in psychological therapies as an essential component of the care of people with psychosis.

A global society active in at least twenty countries, ISPS is composed of a diverse range of individuals, networks and institutional members. Key to its ethos is that individuals with personal experience of psychosis, and their families and friends, are fully involved alongside practitioners and researchers, and that all benefit from this collaboration.

ISPS’s core aim is to promote psychological and social approaches to understanding and treating psychosis. Recognising the humanitarian and therapeutic potential of these perspectives, ISPS embraces a wide spectrum of therapeutic approaches from psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive, and arts therapies, to need-adapted and dialogical approaches, family and group therapies and residential therapeutic communities. A further ambition is to draw together diverse viewpoints on psychosis and to foster discussion and debate across the biomedical and social sciences, including establishing meaningful dialogue with practitioners and researchers who are more familiar with biological-based approaches. Such discussion is now increasingly supported by empirical evidence of the interaction of genes and biology with the emotional and social environment especially in the fields of trauma, attachment, social relationships and therapy.

Ways in which ISPS pursues its aims include international and national conferences, real and virtual networks, and publication of the journal Psychosis. The book series is intended to complement these activities by providing a resource for those wanting to consider aspects of psychosis in detail. It now also includes a monograph strand primarily targeted at academics. Central to both strands is the combination of rigorous, in-depth intellectual content and accessibility to a wide range of readers. We aim for the series to be a resource for mental health professionals of all disciplines, for those developing and implementing policy, for academics in the social and clinical sciences, and for people whose interest in psychosis stems from personal or family experience. We hope that the book series will help challenge excessively biological ways of conceptualising and treating psychosis through the dissemination of existing knowledge and ideas and by fostering new interdisciplinary dialogues and perspectives.

For more information about ISPS, email or visit our website,  

For more information about the journal Psychosis visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Schizophrenia
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health