Attachment Theory and Research in Clinical Work with Adults

Edited by Joseph H. Obegi and Ety Berant

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
December 10, 2008
ISBN 9781593859985
Price: $115.00
529 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
June 9, 2010
ISBN 9781606239285
Price: $55.00
529 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $55.00
529 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $110.00 $60.50
529 Pages

Written with the practicing psychotherapist in mind, this invaluable book presents cutting-edge knowledge on adult attachment and explores the implications for day-to-day clinical practice. Leading experts illustrate how theory and research in this dynamic area can inform assessment, case formulation, and clinical decision making. The book puts such concepts as the secure base, mentalization, and attachment styles in a new light by focusing on their utility for understanding the therapeutic relationship and processes of change. It offers recommendations for incorporating attachment ideas and tools into specific treatment approaches, with separate chapters on psychoanalytic, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, and emotionally focused therapies.

“Provides a sophisticated and comprehensive review of attachment research and practice as it applies to a wide range of areas. The book is unique in that it addresses domains that have not been attended to in other similar volumes, including psychodynamic aspects of attachment in transference and deference, and the application of attachment theory to interpersonal therapy, and application of attachment theory to cognitive behavioural therapy. The chapters provide a nice integration of theoretical concepts, practice applications through case illustrations, and current research to support it. The book would appeal to experienced clinicians, academics, and researchers....The book maintains high standards of scholarship and clinical complexity throughout, and is highly recommended.”

Journal of Psychological Medicine

“Very interesting and relevant, certainly to psychoanalysts, not least because it does focus, comprehensively and in depth, on the role of attachment theory in working with adults who have Axis II pathology, particularly in the areas of narcissistic pathology.”

American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Forum

“A comprehensive text that offers clinicians the concepts and information necessary to conceptualize their adult clients through the lens of attachment theory. Coeditors Joseph H. Obegi and Ety Berant have compiled 19 chapters that provide readers with informative ideas on how to effectively understand their adult clients, as well as offer suggestions on how to impart meaningful treatment to clientele by considering client attachment styles. Each informative chapter is written by experienced clinicians who not only explain research and ideas efficiently but also provide clinical examples to better illustrate the concepts introduced in the chapter....Throughout this entire book, readers are constantly reminded of how valuable knowledge in the area of attachment is to clinicians and their clients. The ideas, research, and concepts presented can be used by any practitioner to enhance their understanding of clients through the framework of attachment. In addition, the information learned through reading this book can be used as a tool for effectively working through presenting problems that may be at an impasse due to attachment-related issues. All of the ideas in this book are centered on effective client care, have support in research, and are illustrated with clear and specific case examples. Perhaps one of the most valuable assets of this book is that nearly every chapter ends with a section that offers clinical case examples experienced by the contributing authors. Nearly all chapters have a specific therapeutic example or case dialogue that clearly describes the ideas in the chapter so that readers can visualize how the concept may be presented in the therapeutic setting or how the attachment-related techniques look in action....The coeditors of this text have done a wonderful job in overseeing the collaboration of the many clinicians that have a voice in the book. This is an excellent text and resource to add to the clinical library of any clinician, educator, and student.”

Family Journal

“This book opens up the 'black box' of attachment study for practicing clinicians of all stripes. Grounded in cutting-edge research, and rich in clinical material, the volume both anchors the reader in the core elements of attachment theory and research and brings alive the multiple and diverse implications of this work for the therapeutic enterprise.”

—Arietta Slade, PhD, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, City University of New York

“One does not often apply the term 'page turner' to a professional volume, but I literally couldn't put this book down. Every chapter includes explicit, practical, and thoughtful strategies for formulating and intervening from an attachment framework. I've already been thinking about how to incorporate these ideas into my teaching and clinical work!”

—Hanna Levenson, PhD, private practice, San Francisco, and Professor, Wright Institute, Berkeley, California

“This comprehensive volume stands as the state-of-the-art guide to the clinical applications of attachment theory. Psychologists and other mental health professionals practicing assessment, evaluation, and the full range of contemporary approaches to psychotherapy will repeatedly turn to this well-organized work. Obegi and Berant have brought together the leading experts in each area of practice and scholarship. At a time when psychotherapists are concerned about establishing meaningful links with empirical research, this impressive book is especially necessary.”

—Lewis Aron, PhD, Director, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Joseph H. Obegi and Ety Berant

I. Theoretical Foundations

2. An Overview of Adult Attachment Theory, Phillip R. Shaver and Mario Mikulincer

3. The Therapist as Secure Base, Barry A. Farber and Jesse A. Metzger

4. Attachment, Mentalization, and Reflective Functioning, Elliot L. Jurist and Kevin B. Meehan

5. Clinical Correlates of Adult Attachment Organization, Frederick G. Lopez

II. Assessing Attachment

6. Using Interviews to Assess Adult Attachment, Kenneth N. Levy and Kristen M. Kelly

7. Self-Report Measures of Adult Attachment in Clinical Practice, R. Chris Fraley and Robert L. Phillips

8. Attachment Styles, the Rorschach, and the Thematic Apperception Test: Using Traditional Projective Measures to Assess Aspects of Attachment, Ety Berant

III. Clinical Utility

9. Internal Working Models and Change, Rebecca J. Cobb and Joanne Davila

10. An Attachment Approach to Adult Psychotherapy, Brent Mallinckrodt, Katherine Daly, and Chia-Chih D.C. Wang

11.Transference and Attachment, Rami Tolmacz

12. Attachment-Related Defensive Processes, Mario Mikulincer, Phillip R. Shaver, Jude Cassidy, and Ety Berant

13. An Attachment Perspective on Crying in Therapy, Judith Kay Nelson

IV. Integration with Clinical Approaches

14. Adult Psychotherapy from the Perspectives of Attachment Theory and Psychoanalysis, Morris Eagle and David L. Wolitzky

15. An Interpersonal Approach to Attachment and Change, Paul Florsheim and Laura McArthur

16. Attachment Theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy: Perfect Partners, Susan M. Johnson

17. Attachment Theory and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Carolina McBride and Leslie Atkinson

V. Future Directions

18. Attachment-Informed Psychotherapy Research with Adults: Current Status and Future Directions, Ety Berant and Joseph H. Obegi

19. From Attachment Research to Clinical Practice: Getting It Together, Jeremy Holmes

About the Editors

Joseph H. Obegi, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Davis, California. Previously a lecturer at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego, he taught courses in psychotherapy, chemical dependency, and professional ethics. Dr. Obegi’s recent research has focused on attachment to therapists and the validity of adult attachment scales in clinical populations.

Ety Berant, PhD, is on the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, and has served as the chairperson of the graduate clinical track. She is also a senior clinical psychologist and has practiced and supervised psychotherapy and personality assessment for nearly two decades. Dr. Berant is the chairperson of the Israeli Rorschach Society. Her research interests include attachment styles in adulthood, personality assessment, and therapeutic processes.


Leslie Atkinson, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Ety Berant, PhD, Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Jude Cassidy, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Rebecca J. Cobb, PhD, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Katherine Daly, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Joanne Davila, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Morris Eagle, PhD, Dernier Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York

Barry A. Farber, PhD, Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, New York

Paul Florsheim, PhD, School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

R. Chris Fraley, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois

Jeremy Holmes, MD, FRCPsych, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom

Susan M. Johnson, PhD, Ottawa Couple and Family Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Elliot L. Jurist, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, City University of New York, New York, New York

Kristen M. Kelly, PhD, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Kenneth N. Levy, PhD, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Frederick G. Lopez, PhD, Counseling Psychology Program, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

Brent Mallinckrodt, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

Laura McArthur, MS, Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Carolina McBride, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kevin B. Meehan, PhD, Department of Psychology, Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York

Jesse A. Metzger, MS, Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, New York

Mario Mikulincer, PhD, School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel

Judith Kay Nelson, PhD, The Sanville Institute for Clinical Social Work and Psychotherapy, Berkeley, California

Joseph H. Obegi, PsyD, private practice, Davis, California

Robert L. Phillips, MA, LPC, Connection Clinic, Portland, Oregon

Phillip R. Shaver, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California

Rami Tolmacz, PhD, Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Chia-Chih D.C. Wang, PhD, Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Kansas City, Missouri

David L. Wolitzky, PhD, Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, New York


Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors; clinical and developmental researchers; students in these areas.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses in attachment theory or attachment-based psychotherapy.