How traumatic events can break our vital connections—and how to restore love, wholeness, and resiliency in your life.
From our earliest years, we develop an attachment style that follows us through life, replaying in our daily emotional landscape, our relationships, and how we feel about ourselves. And in the wake of a traumatic event—such as a car accident, severe illness, loss of a loved one, or experience of abuse—that attachment style can deeply influence what happens next.
In The Power of Attachment, Dr. Diane Poole Heller, a pioneer in attachment theory and trauma resolution, shows how overwhelming experiences can disrupt our most important connections— with the parts of ourselves within, with the physical world around us, and with others.
The good news is that we can restore and reconnect at all levels, regardless of our past.
Here, you’ll learn key insights and practices to help you:
• Restore the broken connections caused by trauma
• Get embodied and grounded in your body
• Integrate the parts of yourself that feel wounded and fragmented
• Emerge from grief, fear, and powerlessness to regain strength, joy, and resiliency
• Reclaim access to your inner resources and spiritual nature
“We are fundamentally designed to heal,” teaches Dr. Heller. “Even if our childhood is less than ideal, our secure attachment system is biologically programmed in us, and our job is to simply find out what’s interfering with it—and learn what we can do to make those secure tendencies more dominant.”
With expertise drawn from Dr. Heller’s research, clinical work, and training programs, this book invites you to begin that journey back to wholeness.
“Filled with wise guidance based on decades of clinical experience and scientific training, Dr. Poole Heller provides a wealth of clear, practical tools that anyone can use to improve their relationships and enrich their lives. With warmth, honesty, and a gift for teaching, she weaves together insights from attachment research, neurobiology, and life experience to provide easy-to-use tools to connect more deeply to others and heal our hearts and minds in the process—creating a valuable resource for us all.” —Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Author of The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems
“In The Power of Attachment, Diane Poole Heller fearlessly and compassionately explores our innate capacities for truly enriching relationships and the tragedies and terrors that can derail them. Diane’s clinical expertise in attachment and trauma guides the reader through many exercises that radically and effectively transform the early perceptions of broken connections into new experiences of genuinely fulfilling, resonant connections. The science is solid; the stories are compelling; the style is engaging; the wisdom is a tremendous gift.” —Linda Graham, MFT, author of Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster
“Diane Poole Heller has written a gem of a book that clearly conveys what decades of attachment research have taught us about how we become who we are and how we can change. Drawing on her experiences as a person, therapist, and student of psychological science, Heller offers the reader a wealth of insight. The book is a gift—practical and, yes, inspirational—from a very special writer whose depth of understanding, compassion, and humanity shine through on every page.” —David Wallin, PhD, author of Attachment in Psychotherapy
“Written with great warmth and clarity, this beautiful book turns the scientific insights of attachment theory into practical healing and help for our most important relationships. It is full of examples, experiential exercises, and deep insights into the lingering effects of childhood. Dr. Heller has a depth of heart, intellect, and experience that is rare and remarkable, and it shows on every page.” —Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness
“Diane Poole Heller brings us good news—a healthy romantic relationship is attainable, despite whatever attachment wounds we’ve survived. Reading this book can be the first step to your own recovery and ability to connect intimately with another. Diane Poole Heller’s knowledge of trauma and recovery begins with her own hard-won experience, shared here as the inspiration for her life’s work. Whether clinician or client, yoga therapist or student, The Power of Attachment is an essential read and reference. Keep this book within easy reach for the moments you fall away from your own sense of compassionate connection. The exercises here helped me grow in love and understanding of my own and my partner’s attachment styles and brought us to a new level of intimacy.” —Amy Weintraub, Founder of LifeForce Yoga, author of Yoga Skills for Therapists and Yoga for Depression
“Diane Poole Heller has given us a new primer on attachment theory that breaks down some basic concepts for readers. She describes the characteristics of the various attachment styles and gives readers some elementary ways to begin to track their own behaviors and skills. The chapter specifically devoted to understanding attachment in relationships can serve as a good introduction for couples or anyone interested in coupling. Diane’s warm and personal writing style makes this an easy read.” —Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT) and author of Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
“What maintains the grip of painful patterns that play out again and again in our relationships? The Power of Attachment answers that big question and shows why liberating change is possible. Diane Poole Heller is a superb guide for finding your way in the deep, compelling domain of attachment, and her warmth creates a healing connection with the reader.” —Bruce Ecker, MA, LMFT, co-creator of Coherence Therapy and co-author of Unlocking the Emotional Brain
“The Power of Attachment is a beautifully written book, exploring the definitions and manifestations of attachment styles from a strengths-based perspective. Diane’s warm and optimistic voice continually empowers the reader to reaccess and strengthen their capacity for secure attachments and to heal relational wounds. Powerful creative exercises, guided imagery, and concrete strategies help the reader to be more internally resourced while deepening their ability to forge secure relationships through repair, empathy, corrective experiences, and compassion. For anyone who works with traumatized clients or has experienced attachment wounds firsthand, this book is a gift—nurturing, enlightening, and healing.” —Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, author of Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons from the Therapist’s Couch
“The Power of Attachment is a masterful compendium of how to understand and bring healing to the major attachment styles. Equally valuable for both therapists and the general public, this book possesses comprehensive modes of assessment and countless, evolved, effective exercises. Kudos to Dr. Poole Heller for her book that both explores the brain and engages the heart.” —David Grand, PhD, author of Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change
“Diane Poole Heller proves herself a superb guide to the new exciting science of attachment theory. In clear, readable, touching prose, The Power of Attachment gives you the practical tools you need to understand yourself and your partner at the deepest level. It has the power to change your life.” —Terrence Real, founder of the Relational Empowerment Institute and author of The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work
“We blame ourselves or our partners when intimacy goes south without awareness of the unconscious relationship template that organizes those failures. With clear illustrations and practical exercises, Diane Poole Heller helps you understand and change this powerful inner operating system that came from your childhood attachment history, thereby defusing the mines in the minefields that love has been for most of us.” —Richard Schwartz, PhD, founder of the Internal Family Systems method and author of You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For