Attachment Repair

The theory and practice of attachment repair
Reviews of books, videos and other material explaining Attachment Theory and Repair

“Introduction to Attachment” talk on May 10, 2018

Popular Level Resources on Attachment Theory


Levine, Amir and “Rachel Heller”. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love. TarcherPerigee, 2010

  • A popular introduction to Adult attachment theory and its application to success or failure in relationships.

Academic Books


Brown, Daniel P. and and ‘David S.’ Elliott. Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair. Norton, 2016

  • This book is the new “gold standard” reference book for Attachment Theory.

It is not short (30 hours listening time on Audible) but is more manageable if you consider it as three books in one.

Parts 1 & 2 pull together just about everything we know about attachment theory, including new developments!. I thought I was pretty well read on the subject, but I learned a lot.

Part 3 is about repair, and starts with an extremely useful survey of modalities (including AEDP) that address attachment repair, and how they do it. Each modality is explained clearly. Then the authors introduce their own intervention called the Ideal Parent Figure (IPF), a sequence of portrayals which is very precisely designed to facilitate repair. What is most impressive is the hard evidence that this works from AAI measurements before and after.

Part 4 takes in turn each insecurely attached subgroup, and describes what they need from the therapist to gain security. Although this illustrated using the IPF, it can be used within any relational therapy. The book ends with a detailed case history of an extremely disturbed woman, after a dismally failed trauma therapy. Through applying these principles she was able to score “secure” in the AAI and show good evidence of being healed from all her mental illness.


Diana Fosha:

“This is an extraordinary achievement. The must-have book on attachment, it includes everything you need to know about attachment, and then some―history, research, typology AND treatment! Richly comprehensive, precise, and wise, it is honed by real clinical experience, with step-by-step treatment protocols tailored to each attachment classification. This book should be required reading for all graduate students in clinical programs, be they clinical psychology, psychiatry, counseling, or social work. It should be a sine qua non for all attachment researchers. It is a book that any clinician who works with trauma and attachment disturbances―which means all clinicians, for attachment disturbances underlie most major syndromes―should have and master.”


Crittenden, Patricia McKinsey and Andrea Landini. Assessing Adult Attachment: A Dynamic-Maturational Approach to Discourse Analysis. Norton, 2011


Eppel, Alan B.. Sweet Sorrow: Love, Loss and Attachment in Human Life. Karnac, 2009

  • Sweet Sorrow is the exceptional kind of work that I wish I had the privilege to read as I began my psychotherapy training twenty years ago. It provides the reader with key concepts, explication that is free of jargon, introducing towering thinkers in the field for further studying and illustrating the phenomena with succinct case studies. Sweet Sorrow will be on my `must read’ list as I teach my psychotherapy students and supervisees in Toronto, Hong Kong and Beijing. (from Amazon review by Danny Yeung)

Parnell, Laurel and Elena Felder,‎ Holly Prichard,‎ Prabha Milstein and‎ Nancy Ewing. Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma. Norton, 2013

  • This looks to be a very valuable contribution. (Review coming soon)

Mooney, Carol Garhart. Theories of Attachment: An Introduction to Bowlby, Ainsworth, Gerber, Brazelton, Kennell, and Klaus. Redleaf, 2008

  • Unfortunately the contents of this book do not match the title, unless understood to mean that rather than being an introduction to Attachment Theory, the book covers only a few specific individuals. For example, Mary Main, the pioneer of Adult Attachment Theory does not even get a mention. Nor do any others since.

Wallin, David J. Attachment in Psychotherapy. Guilford, 2007

  • Although not the lightest reading, this is one of the most comprehensive and up to date book on childhood and adult attachment. The first chapters give an excellent history of the research results.

Resources on Attachment Repair