I just read the amazing reviews for my new book for therapists and counsellors. It’s called Attachment Theory in Practice: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with Individuals, Couples, and Families (January 2019).
They are beyond positive, talking about how the book will have an impact on the field of therapy – and that every therapist should read it. There are also comments that it is easy to read, even.
This feels like sunshine on my face!
The truth is that this book has taken me 30 years to write.
30 years of
- listening to individuals, couples and families,
- listening to therapists telling me how they get stuck,
- reading research results,
- watching tapes of people in therapy sessions and educational groups facing their vulnerabilities,
- walking people through the process of finding balance, peace and connection with others.
I have had so many teachers. They have all taught me that the way we grow change and thrive is to listen to our emotions – walk into and through them WITH a trusted other who can give us balance, affirmation and care.
It’s the connection with another that gives us ground under our feet so we can reach up and grow.
The book is full of stories.
Jim, who constantly spirals into anxiety and thinks that he is somehow defective, wrong and unacceptable turns to face and pin down his fear and grieve the fact that he has faced this fear alone all his life.
He grasps that we all have this fear, that he is standing with millions of others, and accepts that this fear is reasonable. It protects him in a world where he was not held or comforted. He begins to tell me about his fear and listens to the voice of his now adult self and even my voice telling him that he can now hold this fear and calm it the way he calms his small son. He weeps in my sessions but his smile also gets bigger. Wider. More open.
Amy and Bob find their way out of their dance of accuse and defend into standing together and looking at their dance and how it renders them helpless and leaves them alone.
They learn to balance each other and then risk reaching for support in what we call a Hold Me Tight conversation – a conversation that predicts recovery from distress in our many studies and long term relationship satisfaction. You can even learn to shape this conversation in the safety of your own living room with our Hold Me Tight online program.
Jules and his wife Mary learn to see the desperation for connection that drives their son Paul’s acting out, to tune into him and hold him when he begins to flail around and to support each other to shape a more loving secure family life.
The message to me after all these years of research, teaching therapists, and seeing clients is clear.
I write Attachment Theory in Practice to offer it to my fellow clinicians, especially when I see them diligently struggling with the hundreds of brands of therapy, growing lists of so-called “disorders” and the ever-increasing flood of lonely depressed and anxious folks who ask them for help.
The science of the last two decades has to be our guide into the 21st century.
We’ve researched emotion and how it makes sense, the fact that our nervous systems are wired for connection with others and set up for attachment bonds. We’ve got results from our own lab on how to move people from disconnection and despair to a whole sense of self and a confident ability to dance with others.
I want this book to make a difference, to inspire therapists everywhere, to bring the different tribes of therapy folks together, to empower us to lead other who are stumbling forward into a place I call “safe and sound.”
If you would like to join me, you can order the book here .