Patterns of Relating
An Adult Attachment Perspective
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The book first defines reciprocal attachment relationships for adults using criteria that are congruent with the definition for infants and children. Detailed case studies illustrate the clinical relevance of attachment as an organizational construct, and principles currently used to explain biological development are applied to the study of personality development. Discussing the view that models of attachment always have affective content, the authors explain that these models are centered around a pattern of feelings that can be observed throughout the individual's life.
In an insightful examination of insecure attachment, the book shows how these feelings are inevitably associated with the feared loss of security invested in the attachment relationship, then explores defensive processes from an attachment perspective. The authors describe their methodologies for assessing both the underlying dimensions of adult reciprocal attachment and the primary patterns of insecure attachment. They discuss the contribution of patterns of insecure attachment to the differential diagnosis of a subset of personality disorders. Demonstrating how attachment theory can be used to guide psychotherapy, the book also points out that attachment theory can be useful in indicating when psychotherapy has been effective. Finally, important distinctions are drawn between adult reciprocal attachment and other interpersonal constructs such as dependency, romantic love, and social support.
An ideal introduction to adult attachment theory, this volume provides a powerful tool for both social research and therapeutic intervention. As such, it will be welcomed by researchers, clinicians, and students interested in the ways adult relationships affect mental health.
Table of Contents
Introduction. The Definition of Adult Reciprocal Attachment. The Relevance of Adult Reciprocal Attachment. Developmental Perspectives. Working Models. Patterns of Insecure Attachment. Defensive Processes in Attachment Theory. The Measurement of Adult Attachment. Personality Disorders Research. Attachment and Psychotherapy. The Boundaries of Adult Reciprocal Attachment. References.
Adrienne E. Sheldon-Keller, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia.
This is a first rate addition to the rapidly growing literature on attachment in adult life. The authors anchor their concept of reciprocal attachment firmly in established theory then move it boldly forward with solid empirical and clinical investigations. Well referenced and highly readable. --K.S. Adam, M.D., McMaster University-
Adult attachment has become one of the more important areas of research and theory in psychology. It promises to be a significant point of intersection between clinical and research approaches and interests. West and Keller's book comes along at a most auspicious time. Bowlby believes that attachment is a central concern throughout one's life; West and Keller elucidate and develop Bowlby's claim in a fruitful and important direction. This book will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the very human need for significant attachments. --Morris Eagle, Ph.D., University of Toronto
The authors have skillfully tackled the problem of defining and assessing adult attachment. Their approach is well grounded in the developmental attachment literature....A very original and creative extension of attachment theory to adult clinical populations. --Roger Kobak, Ph.D., University of DelawareHighly recommended. Undergraduate through professional.--Choice, 04/10/1994ƒƒ...an introduction to adult attachment theory, this volume offers a tool for both social research and therapeutic intervention.--Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 04/10/1994