on 25 November 2010
When I received this book I found the font was large and the writing well spaced out, which made me think 'Oh dear, he's had to stretch this one out to make a book!'. However, I've actually found it easy to read such large, well-spaced text and it's no reflection on the content. I liked how he drew together various strands of research on trauma and attachment and used these to make clear links to the practical implications of these findings. He has also illustrated his ideas well with plenty of clinical examples. The clarity of this book will make it particularly useful for therapists in training or those who are newly qualified, but as someone with more experience I also found it helpful. Some of his suggestions for clinical approaches would be applicable for clients who are generally avoidant and need not be restricted to just 'trauma' clients (perhaps we can assume there are elements of interpersonal trauma in the backgrounds of all people with avoidant attachments). He also has a really good chapter on countertransference reactions that is more broadly applicable than to just avoidant clients and really applies to any clients you might find challenging to work with. As with any challenging clients, people with avoidant attachments can often leave therapists feeling you don't know what you're doing; at the very least, this book will leave you feeling clear about the nature of the challenges, how to approach dealing with them and accepting of the limitations.
on 17 January 2011
This is one of the most interesting and useful books on trauma that I have read in years! Dr. Muller has provided an exceptional and much needed resource with this book. Using attachment theory, Dr. Muller helps clinicians understand the impact of abuse, neglect and traumatic loss and details the types of defences that avoidant individuals have that can make treatment so difficult. He provides a clear guide to implementing therapeutic techniques using case examples as well as captivating and relevant therapy vignettes. The book describes in detail, issues around counter-transference and addresses the problematic ways that clinicians can often respond to these clients.
For clinicians, avoidant clients represent a population that can cause angst to work with. This book is not only practical and well researched but is extremely well written and hard to put down. This book is a clinical gem and a must read for mental health clinicians.
Cheryl Fernandes, Ph.D.
Child and Youth Mental Health Outpatient Service, McMaster Children's Hospital
on 7 January 2011
Dr. Robert Muller has provided psychotherapists with an extraordinary
book! It is impressive in both its presentation of therapeutic strategies
and its insights into the experiences of clients who are known to be very hard to treat.
This book integrates attachment theory and recent advances in the
treatment of intra-familial trauma, and it details new psychotherapeutic techniques to
work successfully with clients for whom therapy can often be highly threatening.
Perhaps most significantly, Dr. Muller helps the reader to learn how to
meaningfully engage clients who present with a self-protective, help-rejecting
stance. With vivid and fascinating vignettes, brilliant insight, and an intimate,
accessible writing style, Dr. Muller shows us how to best help treatment-resistant
clients trust the therapeutic relationship enough to be challenged toward making
We learn about the very common pitfalls of working with this population -such as colluding
with clients in their avoidance of painful feelings- as well as how to deal with these potential
pitfalls at each step of the therapeutic process.
This book is a tremendously rich resource for therapists at any stage of their career, as well as for anyone
wishing to have a deeper understanding of trauma, attachment, and psychotherapy -including instructors and supervisors.
With compassion and sensitivity, Dr. Muller illustrates the often difficult and puzzling process of successful therapy
with avoidant clients. As a clinician, I found this book to be inspirational and I give it my highest possible recommendation.
Mirisse Foroughe, Ph.D.
Summerville Family Health Team, Toronto
on 4 November 2011
Trauma and the Avoidant Client came to my hands in a timely manner as i grappled with an extremely difficult client. The book tidies up previous knowledge and opens a window or mind state that allowed me and consequently mi clients to get closer to their pain. It explores the client's avoidant tendencies and strategies, and with equal importance questioned my own avoidant elements and how these might manifest in the therapist's seat. Brilliant piece of work that sipped in into all my other client work, as the topic became ever present the more i infused myself in reading this book. An important part of my development as a therapist highly recommended both for trainees and experienced therapists.