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Attachment and the Defence Against Intimacy: Understanding and Working with Avoidant Attachment, Self-Hatred, and Shame

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Author: Linda Cundy

Publisher: Routledge

Published: 29/08/19

ISBN: 9781138330450

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This book combines attachment theory and research with clinical experience to provide practitioners with tools for engaging with individuals who are indifferent, avoidant, highly defensive, and who struggle to make and maintain intimate connections with others. Composed of four papers presented at a Wimbledon Guild conference in 2017, this text examines the origins of avoidant attachment patterns in early life, describes research tools that offer a more refined understanding of this insecure attachment pattern, explores the internal object worlds of “dismissing” adults, and considers the impact on couple relationships when one or both partners avoid intimacy or dependency.

Each chapter contains case studies with children and families, adolescents, adults and couples that acknowledge the challenges of engaging with these “shut down” individuals, with authors sharing what they have learned from their patients about what is needed for effective psychotherapy. It is an accessible book full of clinical richness and insight and will be invaluable to practitioners who are interested in deepening their understanding and clinical skills from an attachment perspective.