Therapeutic Considerations of Family Crisis and Anxious Attachment

goodlife guide

Stephen W. Kane, P.h.d.

This casebook is designed for students in masters’ or doctoral programs in mental health programs and focuses on “loss” as the pivotal reason why individuals suffer from confusion, anxiety and depression, and why they seek psychotherapy. And while loss is central in the conceptual framework, it is “loss” as experienced in the family, or, “attachment traumas” which are portrayed as most important.

Identification of attachment traumas is completed with the help of the Family Crisis Scale (Kane, 2005), and a case is made for the alignment these traumas with the central understanding of anxiety from the perspectives of Sigmund Freud and John Bowlby. Both Freud and Bowlby believed, for the individual and the family respectively, that anxiety is generated by the loss of the relationship, the loss of control, the loss of love and the loss of competency. These four conditions make up the components of the patterns of anxious attachment and likewise are the foundation of the Family CHORES Model of Therapy (Kane, 1989).

With these concepts in place, the student then discovers specific strategies and methods for effective treatment of the anxiously attached client in psychotherapy with the help of therapy transcripts and twelve client narratives. Several narratives are followed by questions generated from my university students and my informal responses. Corollary insights include the concepts of “bonding by illness” and “bonding by aggression” found in more seriously challenged families. Courage is the last ingredient in the mosaic of the clients’ challenges and strengths, which, despite their “losses,” is the curious factor for understanding why some are inspired to take uncharacteristic risks to arrive at potential successful resolutions.

Altogether, and after all of the concepts and theories are disclosed and grasped , the ultimate aim of this casebook is to “guide the heart of the clinician-in-training to an appreciation for the soul of the family,” whatever the culture or ethnicity of their clients, and to scaffold existing family strengths with family preservation as its goal.

You can purchase the book online from Smashwords in multiple eBook formats at

eBook formatting and Cover Design by Shelley Glasow Schadowsky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.