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Book Reviews   |    
Adult Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy: The "Secure Base" in Practice and Research
Reviewed by William Vogel, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2001; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.52.12.1668
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edited by Christopher Clulow; Philadelphia, Brunner-Routledge, 2001, 228 pages, $29.95

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This work is a study of couples relationships, from the point of view of attachment theory, which itself is derived primarily from psychoanalysis. One aim of the book is to reconcile attachment and object-relations views of the couple relationship.

This is an interdisciplinary work, with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and psychoanalysts among its 17 contributors. Most of them are or have been associated with London's Tavistock Marital Studies Institute, and the book celebrates 50 years of work there.

The text has a unique format in which clinical and research projects reinforce and nourish each other. The 12 chapters deal with such topics as assessment and measurement of couples relationships; determinants of stability of relationships; how attachment security is mediated across generations; marital violence; same-sex couples relationships; and training, institutional, and social issues that are related to couples work.

The writing is of a uniformly high quality, and the issues that are addressed are far-reaching and important. Although the text addresses complex theoretical issues, it largely avoids the theoretical jargon that so often mars books of this type. In sum, Adult Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy is an enjoyable read, and it should be of interest to mental health professionals who are interested in couples and family issues. While it is of general interest, it should be of particular interest to family workers whose training and interests touch on or involve psychoanalytic theory.

Dr. Vogel is associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.




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