To Be Met as a Person: The Dynamics of Attachment in Professional Encounters

Author(s) : Una McCluskey

To Be Met as a Person: The Dynamics of Attachment in Professional Encounters

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This book is a thought-provoking read that sets out a framework for thinking about the way we interact with one another. It helps us make sense of the feelings we have when we are successful and not successful in providing help for other people. The author looks at the early research in psychotherapy on this subject and also at attachment theory and how this relates to adults. A series of experiments also explores the role of empathic attunement in effective caregiving.

Reviews and Endorsements

'This book takes you to the heart of what one needs to learn in order to be able to help those who seek care in social work, medicine or psychotherapy. Una McCluskey takes us a step further in understanding the interaction between careseekers and caregivers. Through her concept of "goal-corrected empathic attunement", based on recent research and empirically grounded theory, she teaches us how clinicians can be trained to become empathically attuned. This book is one of the best examples of clinically relevant research that I have encountered. It deserves to become a classic.'
- Christer Sandahl, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; President of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy

'This important and accessible book unravels what lies at the heart of human attachment and the therapeutic process. A "must-read" for caregivers of all persuasions, and for anyone interested in psychotherapy research.'
- Christopher Clulow, Director of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships

'Una McCluskey's work is much needed and very welcome! Building on her vast experience of clinical practice in social work, family therapy, and individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, she has produced a book of enormous importance and relevance for all of us in the caring professions.'
- Susan Vas Dias, Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist (UKCP) & Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (ACP)

'Founded on an in-depth knowledge of her own and related fields, competently, rigorously and impressively researched, Dr McCluskey introduces her goal-corrected, empathic attunement. A "must-read" for all who wish to understand the connection between the dynamics of the systems of interactions now to early infant attachment experiences with their caregivers.'
- Yvonne M. Agazarian, Ed.D., Systems-centered Training and Research Institute, Philadelphia, USA

'This book should be of serious interest not only to psychotherapists and counsellors and those who train them but also to any professional who would want to meet a help-seeking person in a sensitive and responsive way.'
- P.O. Svanberg, Consultant Clinical Psychologist; Head of Psychology Services (Sunderland)

About the Author(s)

Una McCluskey graduated from University College Dublin, did her professional social work training at the University of Edinburgh, and got her PhD from the University of York. She has written extensively on individuals, couple, family and group systems, and has developed her own model for exploring attachment dynamics in adult life. Her research on affect attunement in adult psychotherapy led her to develop a theory of interaction for psychotherapy and particularly to identify and rate the concept of goal corrected empathic attunement. Throughout the last ten years she has been providing courses for workers and experienced professionals in the field of psychology, psychotherapy, social work, medicine, organisational management and development, education, nursing, art therapy, legal practice, religious and pastoral carers, to enable them explore their own dynamics of attachment in adult life as outlined by the work of Heard and Lake and to check its application to their personal and work life.

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