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Author Topic: Attached – Amir Levine, MD  (Read 4027 times)
heartandwhole
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« on: May 01, 2014, 10:06:54 AM »

Attached
Author: Amir Levine, MD and Rachel Heller, MA
Publisher: Penguin Group (January 5, 2012)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1585429139
ISBN-13: 9781585429134




Book Description
We rely on science to tell us everything from what to eat to when and how long to exercise, but what about relationships? Is there a scientific explanation for why some people seem to navigate relationships effortlessly, while others struggle? According to psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, the answer is a resounding "yes."

In Attached, Levine and Heller reveal how an understanding of adult attachment-the most advanced relationship science in existence today-can help us find and sustain love. Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, the field of attachment posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways:

  • Anxious people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner's ability to love them back
  • Avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
  • Secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

In this book Levine and Heller guide readers in determining what attachment style they and their mate (or potential mate) follow, offering a road map for building stronger, more fulfilling connections with the people they love.

About the Authors
Amir Levine, M.D. is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He graduated from the residency program at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University and for the past few years Amir has been conducting neuroscience research at Columbia under the mentorship of Nobel Prize Laureate Eric Kandel. Amir also has a passion for working with patients and it is in this context, while working with mothers and children in a therapeutic nursery, that he first discovered the power of attachment theory. His clinical work together with his deep understanding of the brain from a neuroscientist’s perspective contribute to his appreciation of attachment theory and its remarkable effectiveness in helping to heal patients. Amir lives in New York City.

Rachel Heller, M.A., studied at Columbia University with some of the most prominent scholars in the field of social psychology. She now works with families and couples as a psychologist in private practice. Rachel lives in Israel.

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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2015, 02:59:17 PM »

According to psychiatrist and neuroscientist Levine and social psychologist Heller, one's adult romantic partnerships have patterns similar to those one has as a child with one's parents. Our individual attachment styles are thus, they conclude, hardwired into our brains. Focusing on three main attachment styles (secure, anxious, and avoidant), the authors explain the biological facts behind our relationship needs, teach readers how to identify their own and loved ones' attachment styles, and warn of the emotional price of connecting with someone with drastically different intimacy needs.
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2015, 05:56:35 PM »

Almost finished it in one sitting! Filled with fascinating research and a theory that can explain just about anyone in the world, it's worth checking out. It has questionnaires to assess which of the three 'attachment styles' you belong to, and how you can find someone that works for you.

I would definitely recommend it to someone who's further along the healing path and is looking to find love in the world again.
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2018, 09:34:03 AM »

"Even if you are secure, you may learn a few new tricks [to increase] your overall satisfaction level in relationships."

Practical reading. Users that are dating will benefit. Users out of the relationship with a pwBPD will find additional support for their decision through Levine and Heller's lens of attachment styles.

More benefits to reading are summarised on the authors' justification for one example in-text:
Excerpt
We've included it for three reasons: to illustrate the power of the attachment process, to show that even emotionally healthy individuals can become entangled in a destructive situation, and to let people in those relationships know that they can find a better life for themselves if they muster the strength to leave.
It adds perspective that behaviours neither have to be "the BPD" nor have serious pathological roots.

Some good takeaways:
  • Habits of secure-styled people.
  • "Spotting 'smoking guns' very early on an treating them as deal breakers."
  • Effective communication as a way to tell more in five minutes with a person than a few months.


Review.

A relatively low time investment--lighter reading than Lawson's Understanding the Borderline Mother [... .] (2010). I liked the accessible voice.

BPD issues are deeply rooted within the pwBPD. Correspondingly, that "people gravitate toward their emotional mirror images [in mate selection]" (Kerr and Bowen's Family Evaluation (1988), implies that one has to dig deep on the SO side too--to recognise what's on their side of the psychological mirror. Here, Levine and Heller give a nice take on issues that feel lighter because work to find effective solutions for oneself don't seem to require a long dive (e.g., FOO or subconscious fantasies).

The examples on style recognition and conflict resolution seem realistic and practical.

Reading the effective communication portion will probably be validating for readers of Lawson's work and Fruzzetti's The High-Conflict Couple [... .] (2006).

In a BPD management context, I didn't agree with some of Levine and Heller's suggestions. For example (p.249(2010):
Excerpt
George is instinctively able to contain Kelly's personal attack and, taking responsibility for her hurt feelings, turns the situation around while remaining engaged.
With an SO managing a BPD, I think it's possible to do none of 'containing' the attack, taking responsibility for someone else's feelings, and turning the situation around--yet still be engaged. Those three particular suggestions may be destructive; e.g., containing/internalising a pwBPD's attack. Instead you may validate, you may empathise, you may then move forward into the issue-resolution-cum-date that George does later.

Of movements like codependency and differentiation (p.26(2010), I agree with the authors' point to choose discriminately among them and apply it to your relationships.

Of course this isn't a BPD-specific book. If you're involved in the management of a BPD in your life, I highly recommend a qualified therapist, and Mason and Kreger's Stop Walking on Eggshells [... .] (2010). If you want an encouraging read related to inventorying yourself post-relationship then Fjelstad's Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist [... .] (2013) is excellent.

I recommend this book as a good segue for people to move from a traumatic dating scene to a one with less trauma.


Further Discussion.

Re identifying someone as a particular attachment style and combining it with BPD elements; attachment styles (per the authors) are a set of three general terms to categorise behaviours--whereas BPD is a serious mental illness.

For SOs, I advise that if these tools are cutting edge--then use the right knife. For example I use Fruzzetti's discussion preparation technique sometimes for a wide range of situations (lower arousal, stay mindful of self, etc.), but I'd never use the suggestion to "[w]ear your heart on your sleeve" (p.235(2010) with an individual I think has BPD. Of course, I use honesty often with people I've already screened-in. The other four points in that list are excellent.
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