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Book Review for Morris Eagle’s Attachment and Psychoanalysis: Theory, Research and Clinical Implications (Guilford Press, 2013)

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John Meteyard, Senior Lecturer, Christian Heritage College

 

As recently as 2001, well known attachment theory researcher and author, Peter Fonagy, noted that there has been a tradition of “bad blood” between the disciplines of psychoanalysis and attachment theory. This unfortunate feud appears to stem back to at least the early 1960s and the now famous dismissal of John Bowlby’s emerging views about infant-caregiver attachment by Anna Freud. As a result, until comparatively recently there has been surprisingly little interaction between the psychoanalytic and attachment theory movements despite their shared interest in the influence of early relationships on both typical and atypical human development.

It is this divide that pre-eminent psychoanalytic researcher and scholar, Morris Eagle, attempts to bridge in his 2013 text, Attachment and Psychoanalysis: Theory, Research and Clinical Implications, published by Guilford Press. As both a counsellor with a keen interest in psychodynamic approaches to therapy, and an educational psychologist whose Master’s degree included a significant focus on attachment theory, I found myself approaching Eagle’s work with considerable interest.