1st Edition

Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health A guide to clinical practice

Edited By Adam Danquah, Katherine Berry Copyright 2014
    272 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    In the fifty years since its inception, John Bowlby’s attachment theory has been powerfully influential on developmental psychology and, more recently, mental health. Bringing together the experience of a diverse range of mental health practitioners and researchers who routinely use attachment theory in their own work, Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health provides a guide to using attachment theory in everyday practice.

    Adam N. Danquah and Katherine Berry present a wide-ranging and practical approach to the topic which includes studies on clinical practice, the provision of mental health services and accommodating intercultural perspectives. Section One covers the basics of attachment theory and practice. Section Two presents clinical problems and presentations including, among others, the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, personality disorder and eating disorders. Section Three addresses the needs of specific populations, discussing the influence of sociocultural factors like gender, ethnicity and age. Finally, Section Four examines the organisation and the practitioner, including using the theory to organise services and how individual therapists can integrate their own attachment histories into their approach.

    Including the most up-to-date theories and practice in the field, Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health is ideal for psychologists and psychological therapists, counsellors, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers and mental health service managers and commissioners.

    List of Figures. Contributors. Acknowledgements. Foreword by Brent Mallinckrodt. Section 1: Attachment Theory and Practice – The Basics. Berry, Danquah and Wallin, Introduction. Holmes, Attachment Theory in Therapeutic Practice. Section 2: Clinical Problems and Presentations. Gilbert, Attachment Theory and Compassion Focused Therapy for Depression. Myhr, Responding to Threat: Using Attachment-related Interventions in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy of Anxiety Disorders. Schwannauer and Gumley, Attachment Theory and Psychosis. Steele and van der Hart, Understanding Attachment, Trauma and Dissociation in Complex Developmental Trauma Disorders. Levy, Meehan and Temes, Attachment Theory and Personality Disorders. Liotti, Disorganised Attachment in the Pathogenesis and the Psychotherapy of Borderline Personality Disorder. Dallos, Starving for Affection: Attachment Narrative Therapy with Eating Disorders. Maunder and Hunter, An Attachment Perspective on Understanding and Managing Medically Unexplained Symptoms. Section 3: Specific Populations. Orbach, Bringing a Gendered Perspective to Attachment Theory in Therapy. Thomas, Attachment in African Caribbean Families. Poon, Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Older Adults Using the Attachment Perspective. Section 4: The Organisation and the Individual Practitioner. Adshead and Aiyegbusi, Four Pillars of Security: Attachment Theory and Practice in Forensic Mental Health Care. Seager, Using Attachment Theory to Inform Psychologically-minded Care Services, Systems and Environments. Wallin, Working from the Inside Out: The Therapist’s Attachment History as a Source for Impasse, Inspiration and Change.


    Adam N. Danquah is a clinical psychologist in Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, where he works in secondary care adult mental health with adults across the age range with complex and longstanding mental health problems. He is co-founder and associate editor of the Ghana International Journal of Mental Health.

    Katherine Berry is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Manchester, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, and a clinical psychologist. Her main area of expertise is interpersonal relationships in people with a diagnosis of psychosis.

    "This erudite but accessible guide to “attachment in clinical practice” is a book that I—and no doubt other attachment-oriented therapists—have long been waiting for. It is a rich repository of diverse experience and knowledge gleaned by “an international roster of expert clinician-researchers” (p. xix)...There is a wealth and breadth of experience contained in this book, which is a tribute to the vision of its editors, Adam Danquah and Katherine Berry, in highlighting John Bowlby’s legacy to clinicians." Alexandra Maeja Raicar, Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis Journal

    " The editors’ rich personal experiences and perspectives have guided them in assembling this superb and timely book. The chapters are authored by an international roster of expert clinician-researchers…readers will find a synthesis of the latest research in adult attachment, thoughtfully considered from the perspective of direct application to clinical work." –Brent Mallinckrodt, from the foreword.

    "This edited book brings together diverse leading voices from the fields of clinical psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy on the fertile ground of attachment theory and research. Universal and culture-specific themes are elaborated that will help promote culturally competent practice in the mental health field, adding to the growing literature confirming the vital relevance of attachment theory and research to all range of clinical and forensic problems, their understanding and treatment." – Howard Steele, PhD, Professor of Psychology, New School for Social Research; Editor of Attachment & Human Development and President of Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies (SEAS)