Attachment theory has continued to evolve since the death of John Bowlby in 1990. One of the most recent and exciting developments in the theory concerns the concept of “earned security”. The author has taken this concept and developed it subtly in order to promote the way that it is possible for the therapist to explicitly devote herself in the consulting room to the provision of an environment where the client learns to internalise a sense of possessing a “secure base”.
The book takes the basic ideas of attachment theory and integrates it with other relational theories, such as those of Stolorow, Brandchaft and Atwood’s “intersubjective perspective” and Heinz Kohut’s “psychology of the self”. The author takes us through this process step-by-step, developing an integrative, relational theory which if utilised clinically will help practitioners to enable their clients to gain a sense of “learned security”: a sense of having a secure base to which to return to in times of vulnerability.
Many clients sadly miss this stage of development in their attachment histories as a result of developmental deficit and trauma. By concentrating on providing a secure base for the client in the therapeutic environment, a seminal change can take place within the client’s psychic organisation. The book contains a section which covers how such developmental deficits commonly occur.
The integrative theory that the author promulgates is evidenced by the presentation of four extended case studies; in one, the client himself has written a narrative of how he deems his therapy to have worked. It is unusual for us as practitioners to find our clients prepared to write a narrative of the therapeutic process, and it is refreshing to be provided with a client’s perspective.
About the Author:
Rhona M. Fear is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist practising in Worcestershire; she has specialised in working with clients in long-term therapy for the past twenty years since her six-year training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Initially, she trained as counsellor with Relate followed by attaining a Master’s degree in Counselling Studies at Keele University. Her first degree is in political science, and she maintains a keen interest in the political arena, having taken an active role in democratic government and in the founding of a number of Action Groups. She feels this provides balance in her life. She has published a number of papers and chapters on the Integration debate in the 1990s. Karnac published her first book, The Oedipus Complex: Solutions or Resolutions? in 2015.